Monday, May 25, 2009

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.


Matthew said...

Bummer outcome for you guys, but thanks again for all the support! We spent the entire ride home (16 hours total with a broken down truck) talking about the next race!

Hope we can share a spot at Buttonwillow as well

Bender said...

We would be honored to be parked next to you guys in Buttonwillow. Once again thanks for saving us a spot. See you at Buttonwillow hopefully.