Special Delivery!

29 06 2012

The FedEx delivery man brought me some goodness today!

From left to right: Purolator oil filter, 2 MOOG front outer tie-rod ends, 1 MOOG front lower ball joint (still waiting on the other), and 2 Beck Arnley upper control arms with bushings.  Once the other lower ball joint gets here I will work on installing these.  Hopefully I can get it started before I leave on the 9th for training for my new job.

Stay tuned!


Carpet Gone!

29 06 2012

I worked on the car for about an hour last night, and I removed the gross carpet.  I probably should have worn a mask, because man that stuff was nasty.  It was wet in places too.  Under the carpet in the foot-well behind the driver’s seat I found enough sand to build a sand box?!?  Hopefully this car was never flooded, but it was probably wet from a leaky sunroof.

I also removed the door panels, visors, oh-crap handles, interior lights, and pulled the head liner out.  The sunroof is about ready to come out.

I tried to sweep it out with a broom, but I need a shop-vac or vacuum to get all that dirt and nastiness out.

It was 101 degrees yesterday, and its supposed to be even hotter today and tomorrow, so I doubt I will work on the car (or do anything outside for that matter).  We will see.

Stay tuned!

Strip Work Begins!

27 06 2012

Today I started stripping.  Thank God it’s not what it sounds like, as I’m sure I wouldn’t make much doing the other thing.  After weighing the car I decided to go ahead and start the strip work.  I only ended up working for about an hour and forty minutes, because my wife had to leave and that meant I would be on kid sitting duty.

First I removed the center console, shift boot, and what was left of the stereo.

Then I worked on removing the seats.  The rear seat gave me a bit of trouble, just cause I had never taken apart anything other than Subaru’s prior to this, so it was a bit different.  But a big pry-bar helped.  The driver’s seat is heavy!  Haven’t weighed it yet, but I estimate about 60 lbs.  Now there is nowhere to sit!


Next I removed the seat belts, window trim, and most of the plastic pillar covers.  She is now ready for carpet removal.

This car was/is filthy.  The kinds of things that were under the seats is almost like a treasure hunt.  Except the kinds of things you find you would have to pay someone to take.  Pencils, pens, gold-fish, screws (drywall screws?), money, cigarettes, asthma inhalers, and all kinds of trash.  Can’t wait to get the carpet and dash out and then clean it a bit.  Then it will be the trunk.

However, the next few days we are expecting record heat, so I probably wont get much done.

Stay tuned!

Weighed the Legend today

27 06 2012

Just got back from weighing the 413 Racing Legend.  I drove the car to a Pilot Travel Center and used the Cat Scales.  Stock weight with 3/8 of a tank of gas, and no driver was 3080 pounds.

I hope once we finish weight reduction and race prep, including the roll cage, that the race weight will be 2600 lbs.  Can we accomplish that?

Stay tuned to find out!

More Brake Work

26 06 2012

Recently my daily driver, a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee, has been having some shuttering under braking.  I needed to get it in the garage and get the wheels off and see what was going on.  So that meant I needed to get the Legend off of the jack stands, which meant the brakes needed put back together.

I was having an issue with the right rear caliper when I last worked on the car.  Not really an issue I guess, but the piston on the rear calipers is a screw in type.  It’s pretty difficult getting that piston screwed back in when you need to change brake pads.  I started working on it, then moved on to something else, and eventually forgot about it.  I put all the other rotors on, put the calipers back on the other three corners, tightened everything down, and gave the brake pedal a few pumps to see how it felt.  When I got out and walked over to my tool box, it was then that I realized I hadn’t finished the right rear and the caliper wasn’t attached.  With my previous pumping of the brakes, since there was no rotor for the caliper to clamp on, the piston in the caliper came out and was laying on the floor in a pool of brake fluid.  crap.  Took a bit, but I got it back in properly and screwed in all the way.  Then I decided I needed to bleed the brakes.  Which meant I needed to go to the local auto parts store for more brake fluid, brake cleaner, gloves, and some 1/4″ tubing.

Put back together and ready to bleed:


Once I got back from the store, I asked my wife if she could help me out (I needed someone to pump the brake pedal).  I followed the sequence in the manual, which is Left Front (LF), Right Rear (RR), Right Front (RF), Left Rear (LR).  I used some cheap DOT3 fluid because I know I am going to be bleeding again when I put race pads on and new rotors before race season, so I figured I would use the good stuff then.

It’s a good thing I bled the brakes.  I have never seen brake fluid so disgusting.  In the front it was a dark red/amber color, and thick.  In the rear it literally looked like chocolate milk with rust in it.  Its amazing stopped when I drove it before.  But now it is all clean and good to go.  The pedal felt nice and firm on the quick test drive.  I can’t wait for the race pads!

After the brake job, and the diagnosing of the Jeeps issues, I decided to clean out my work space a bit.  My parents had been storing some of their stuff in my garage while they were renovating their house.  Now that they have moved everything out, I have space again!  I moved all the stuff that was behind the car, over to the other bay in the shop.  Now my work area is clean and ready for the real work to begin!

All clean & ready to lose some weight (the car that is)


After finishing the days work, I decided to go ahead and order some of the parts I needed.  I ordered everything from Rock Auto.  I ordered:

  1. 2 Front Lower Ball Joints
  2. 2 Front Upper Control Arms with Bushings
  3. 2 Front Outer Tie-Rod Ends
  4. Oil Pump Gasket set
  5. Oil Filter 
  6. Valve Cover Gaskets

I also ordered some other parts for the Jeep.  Once the parts come in I will begin installing them, but in the meantime I am going to start stripping the car.

Stay tuned for more updates!

The To-Do List!

29 05 2012

So since we can’t start the build quite yet, I have been doing a LOT of research and seeing what others have done to make their cars last throughout an endurance race.   I think I have comprised quite a decent “To-Do List.”  Its going to take a while to get all this done once we start, luckily we have quite a bit of time.   What do you all think of the below list???

TO-DO List:

Remove entire interior!
Remove all glass
Remove sunroof – install sunroof cover
Degrease engine compartment
Tune up: new plugs, wires, filters, gaskets… everything!
Change timing belt, thermostat, all other belts, water pump
Replace oil cooler gasket
Change all fluids – engine, tranny, differential, brake, coolant
Fabricate engine and tranny mounts
Clean out radiator, do a flush.
Replace all hoses with new, and double clamp them
Resolder main relay
Oil Pan baffling or Accusump
Fabricate exhaust, and exhaust exit
Fabricate CAI
Install Roll Cage
Install Seat rails and race seat
Install harness mounting points, and install racing harness
Install Engine kill switch
Install guages: oil temp, oil pressure, water temp, fuel
Install Fuel Cell
Install shift and oil pressure warning lights
Install Fire Extinguisher
Install Stainless Steel brake lines
Use DOT4+ fluid
New OEM brake rotors
Rebuild brake calipers
Fabricate Brake ducts
EBC Yellowstuff or Hawk HP+ front and rear Brake Pads
Cut springs
Fabricate camber plates
Inspect/Replace wheel bearings
Cut holes in the hood to aid in cooling
Add mesh screen in front of radiator and brake ducts
Use tons of zip ties to make everything neat
Tires: Star Specs, RT 615K, Fuzion Hri, BFGOODRICH Sport Comp-2
Install window net, helmet hook
Install and mark tow hook locations
Paint/Graphics application
Install radio/communication harness
Install timer
Remove undercoating

The Rules

16 05 2012


OK, so we want to race in the 24 Hours of Lemons and the Chump Car World Series (CCWS).  Basically its crapcan racing in $500 dollar cars.  Each series defines that $500 differently.  Lemons is basically a bill of sale for $500, whereas CCWS makes you prove your Actual Internet Value, or AIV.  In order to prove AIV, one must find and print off at least 10 classified ads from the likes of craigslist, autotrader, and sites like that, from each region of the US, Canada and Mexico.  The sale price from each ad must then be added up and divided by the number of adds, which then gives you your AIV.

Lets say you have a car you bought for $500 off of craigslist.  You still must prove the cars AIV.  So you do a search and find 10 ads. Lets say they ads selling prices are: $500, $550, $600, $650, $400, $475, $530, $700, $495, $580.  Add all those together and you get = $5480.  Now divide that by 10 and that gives you an AIV of $548.  Keep in mind that the ads you use to prove your AIV must be for the exact type of car. If your car is an ’84 Celica, 5 speed, 2 dr coupe, then each ad must be of the same year model, same transmission, and same number of doors.  So with an AIV of $548, which is obviously over the $500 limit, your car would be giving BS laps, or penalty laps.  Modifications all have competition value, and add to your AIV.  So you then added coilovers and a new radiator, well now your competition value may be $700 plus, giving you a bunch more BS laps.  Bottom line, bring a stock car that has been refreshed with OEM parts, proper safety gear installed and go racing, or…. prove AIV, get BS laps and then go racing.

I am at the point where I think taking some added competition value may be worth it if it increases the reliability of the car.  Like a radiator, oil cooler, and things like that.  Sure you may get 25-50 BS laps, but your car may stand a much better chance of not breaking down, therefore allowing you to turn laps and finish the race, and reduce your expenses.

But to add to the confusion, CCWS just released a $500 magic list.  Meaning if your year model and make car are on that list, then are automatically qualify as $500 cars.  No need to prove AIV, which is a painstaking process.  However, the car must be stock!  You still have to do all the safety requirements, and you can change the brakes using the two times OEM cost rule, but no replacing the stock radiator with a hi-flowing unit, or adding an oil cooler, and things like that.  Once you do any of that, it automatically bumps you off that magic list and you again have to prove your AIV and get a competition value.  so….

Which way to go???  Not sure yet.  But stay tuned!