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irish44j UltimaDork
8/27/16 9:43 p.m.

Yeah, I remember it took serious PSI when Shawn was mounting Sennett's 15s, now that I think of it. Took forever to get them to seat, since Shawn doesn't have a very big compressor.

Gaunt596 New Reader
8/27/16 10:58 p.m.

For the future, id ask for proof that their compressor can produce 150PSI if needed before i let them touch anything.

de80q Reader
8/28/16 7:37 a.m.

When I worked for a local tire shop, we had a costumer do the same thing. He told us it would take "X" psi to seat the bead. The service writer thought he was messing around. He wasn't, and luckily our compressor was able to do it. Most shops think they know better than the customer. I'm glad it worked out in the end. Car is looking great!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
9/5/16 1:42 p.m.

With Black River Stages less than two weeks out it's probably time for an update. I didn't like the water pump pulley only having one belt on it so I remedied that situation. Before:


This gets me two belts on the water pump and two on the alternator, which is nice. The power steering only gets one, but its not going to stop the car if I loose it.

I changed the oil and installed the skidplate, which fits pretty well but could probably be thicker. Black River is a smooth rally so I'm not terribly worried about it.

On the interior side of things, we're running the Alpa rally computer that came with the car, as well as an old smartphone with the Rally Tripmeter app- it was all we had in the RX7 and worked well, I have a feeling the rally computer won't get used at all. It's also nice since both of our phones also have the app, making us triple redundant in that department. I also wired in a USB/12v outlet combo, which I failed to take a picture of, and ran a cable to charge a smartphone and one to the top of the windshield for a GoPro.

For storage, we're using a ton of $4 bungee nets from Amazon- two as "helmet hammocks" behind the seats, two to hold stuff to the floor behind the seats, and one to hold stuff in/around the spare tire. I need to throw some ratchet straps in as well since they proved to be incredibly useful on the RX7.

While I was crawling around under the car, I noticed we had some cracks in the guibo. Luckily, the car came with a spare, so I swapped that one in. Can you tell which is which?

How about a closer look at that one on the right?

It was covered in little cracks like that, and my experience with these silly rubber couplers tells me they like to go from "small crack" to "oh berkeley the car isn't moving" without warning.

Then I put the rally tires on it, and went for a test drive- the lights and skidplate definitely hurt the airflow to the radiator a bit, and the coolant temperature sits around 200F if I push it on a twisty road rather than the 190F I was seeing without all the stuff on the front. We'll have to see what it does on a real special stage.

Crackers New Reader
9/5/16 3:45 p.m.

I've always found these things intriguing, but never thought of them as race cars.

Your welder is stikingly similar in shell design to my Lincoln Pro-Mig 140. Maybe Lincoln subcontracts for Eastwood? If so I might consider the Eastwood TIG when I get ready to pull that trigger.

paranoid_android74 SuperDork
9/5/16 4:50 p.m.

Is the back not completely loaded yet, or is there that much more room than there is in the RX7?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
9/5/16 5:23 p.m.

In reply to paranoid_android74:

It's only missing helmets, HANS devices, and food/water/clothes. This car has at least triple the interior volume of the RX7.

irish44j UltimaDork
9/5/16 6:58 p.m.

Yeah, I can't believe all that space lol. An e30 has a big trunk area but damn.....really wants me to find an e30 touring shell just to make it into a rally car :)

That jack....seems precarious though. Is that where it is stored on stage?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
9/5/16 7:14 p.m.

In reply to irish44j:

Apparently it has completed several rallies that way- it's attached to the blue plate under it, which is fastened to the floor by a wing nut. I don't really like it, but I'll give it a try and make something to hold an aluminum floor jack if we have issues.

irish44j UltimaDork
9/5/16 7:42 p.m.

ah ok, didn't realize the blue plate was bolted down too....that makes more sense.

RedGT HalfDork
9/6/16 7:51 a.m.

I would have expected the sharp-ish edges of the stamped panels to cut right through the bungee straps holding the 2nd and 3rd triangles once subjected to a bunch of vibration. Are you sure that setup is gonna be OK on stage?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
9/6/16 8:18 a.m.

The big bungee goes over nothing but rolled edges, although the small one crosses a sharp edge. I'm not too worried about it since the triangles weigh almost nothing (the weights have been removed) and will just fall into the quarter panel if they escape- worst case we have to put them into one of the many nets instead.

java230 Dork
9/6/16 9:52 p.m.

Looking forward to seeing it on stage

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
9/11/16 11:25 a.m.

Getting all the spares and stuff ready to go. The car has everything in it now, including the "finish Magnum Opus" kit from the RX7:

The car will be carrying the following spares:
-wheel and tire
-water pump and alternator belt
-timing belt (non interference engine!)
-"finish M.O. kit" (2x ratchet straps and jumper cables)
-4x intercooler hose couplers
-1 gallon Rotella T6
-"kludge kit" (large amounts of RTV, JB weld, silicone fusing tape, duct tape, electrical tape, zip ties, hose clamps, splice connectors, fuses, bungee cords, and a towel that says DON'T PANIC)

This is less than what the RX7 carried, and I would eventually like to add at least an ignition coil and fuel pump to that list.

The spares situation overall isn't great, I had a spare of every suspension piece and a number of other critical components for the RX7, shown here for comparison:

While the Merkur came with a bunch of stuff, a lot of it is for eventual improvements to the car and not direct replacements, so there's no point bringing it all as spares. Here is what we'll be bringing:

Luckily that box does have some important stuff in it, so besides the stack of 5 tires we'll have:
-assorted hardware/lug studs and nuts
-at least one of every coolant hose
-complete set of spark plugs/wires
-water pump
-throttle cable
-a few brake parts
-some electrical components

Not the comprehensive spares package I'd like to have, but still not terrible. We also got a new GoPro so there will be footage from Black River- it's a Hero Session, the smallest and simplest model. It doesn't have a replaceable battery, so hopefully constant USB charging from the car will keep it going for the entire event.

wvumtnbkr SuperDork
9/11/16 12:34 p.m.

How's that black and red engine doing in the 7? Did you get compression numbers for it?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
9/11/16 1:04 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr:

It runs... but that's all I can really tell right now. I've been starting it every so often and letting it get up to temperature. More RX7 work and updates will come in a month or so, hopefully.

paranoid_android74 SuperDork
9/11/16 5:45 p.m.

Sounds like a great start!

I think the final supp regs are posted, I'll be printing those, the schedule and the check lists tomorrow morning.

Tonight is fun with programming the frequencies into my radio. I'll be curious to find out if that whole thing is helpful in service or not...

irish44j UltimaDork
9/11/16 7:17 p.m.
paranoid_android74 wrote: Sounds like a great start! I think the final supp regs are posted, I'll be printing those, the schedule and the check lists tomorrow morning. Tonight is fun with programming the frequencies into my radio. I'll be curious to find out if that whole thing is helpful in service or not...

I'll be sending out a bunch of information, etc for everyone on our "joint team/crew" tomorrow night as well.

Chris - out of curiosity - timing belt? Seems like a big fix to be able to do on stage, no? Or is the pretty accessible on the Merkur without removing the radiator, etc etc. ?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
9/11/16 8:24 p.m.

In reply to irish44j:

Accessory belts and one tensioner are all that has to come off, I can probably do it in 15 minutes if I need to.

dropstep Dork
9/11/16 9:02 p.m.

Yeah the 2.3 timing belt design is great for ease of service. Still love these little engines.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
9/12/16 10:36 a.m.

In reply to paranoid_android74:

If we have time on Friday maybe we can get your radio hooked up to chief's antennae- if I remember correctly the wiring is still there but the fire department cut the ends off when they took the radios out.

paranoid_android74 SuperDork
9/12/16 6:56 p.m.

In reply to ¯_(ツ)_/¯:

That's right- I forgot about the antennae! I wonder if I can find a couple connectors before I leave...

In other news I got the supp regs, schedules and checklists printed today.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
9/19/16 7:01 p.m.

Will make a recap tomorrow, but the short version is that we finished, the car is fast, the brakes are lousy, and I made an ass of myself on SS2. Here, have a video of our very first stage in this turbo beast:

GPz11 Reader
9/19/16 7:43 p.m.

Congrats on keeping it between the trees!

As for the brakes, there are relatively inexpensive upgrades available for them.

mazdeuce UltimaDork
9/19/16 8:27 p.m.

Pfffft, braking just makes you slower. You can always scrub speed sideways, right?
Glad you made it through another one and I'm looking forward to the full report.

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