Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lecture overheard in penalty box: car in for a spin. Judge points-- "this is the front of the car. This is the back. Keep that in mind."
Middle of the night and still rolling. All three cars! Had some brake issues with the Beetle but it's rolling again.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gah! The Cordia is ahead of our Neon! This cannot stand.
Rae has finished first Beetle stint and declared it fun! Mustang II is off in the pits at the moment. Fairmont was in but has returned to action. Granada too.
Mustang/mustang collision took out the SHOstang already, sadly!
ECR full 24. We're trying three cars: neon, 944, and Mike's 66 Beetle. Crazy! All going around thus far, though several cars are already out after <2 hours.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Belated 2011 update part 1

OK, way back in June our updates abruptly stopped when I turned lazy after connectivity problems at the Colorado event in the 24 Hours of Lemons, the BFE GP. The event is aptly named: High Plains Raceway is a wonderful, challenging track run by friendly people, but it is quite a way from metro Denver. Doctawife and I were guest drivers with Rich and Mona, otherwise known as Rocket Surgery Racing.

They have this way cool car, an old Renault 4CV that is now a center-seat racer with a midships-mounted VW engine driving the rear wheels. It was great fun to toss around the track and the rockabilly theme was fun.

In the end we weren't that quick but we did get the Flaggers' Choice trophy.

Spank brought out the Moke with a great river raft theme. IOE went to a Ford wagon with a space shuttle theme.

End thoughts: fun track, awesome crowd of racers, and I hope to return there sometime.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


This has been idle too long. I'll try to start putting some posts here to recap the latter half of 2011 before we get rolling for 2012 races.
But first, a sneak peek of our new livery for the February 2012 race of 24 Hours of Lemons, which will be at Texas World Speedway in College Station.
New livery

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Drat, we don't have a good signal here so I can't post any of the photos I have of the very cool cars here. Green flag in 50 minutes!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Special Lemony Activity

This weekend we have a special Lemons experience-- two of us (Doctawife and Chris) are joining Rich and Mona's Colorado-based team, Rocket Surgery Racing. Sure, I will have separation anxiety to be at a track without the rusty wonder Neon, but how could we refuse an invitation to drive this steed? It's a 1956 or 57 Renault 4CV. It is tiny. It now is mid-engined with rear wheel drive since Rich wedged a VW Fox drivetrain where the back seat once lived.

I hope we will have a cellular signal at the track so I can post this weekend, because this should be quite the experience!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Repair and retheme

Once again it's time to re-theme the Tetanus Neon and prepare it for the next race. Bye-bye, Authorized Vehicle graphics.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wow, we won something!

Recap later. We got Least Horrible Yank Tank for North Dallas Hooptie!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On our way to Eagles Canyon

Rolling along to Decatur Texas for our next 24 Hours of Lemons race. Wish us luck!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thottle body!

We were awarded the huge gift of a $300 residual. Holy crap do we have a pile of shite! Using our hard earned cash, we decided to follow a Neon expert's advice and replace our throttle body. He assured us that it was an easy mod, basically just plug and play.

I don't know who he's pluggin' but he played us.

So far, we've Dremmeled, pounded, puzzled, screwed, unscrewed, and searched. We'd even contemplated buying a drill press... to the tune of $300. Yeah, we're suckers. And more on that later.

Meanwhile, ATS has been creating some kind of Frankenstein bearing press. Pics below.

First off - the starting point! The smaller diameter throttle body is from the stock Neon. The larger originates from a 1995 Jeep Cherokee. Less than $50!

Hard step #2 - widening the slot for the throttle plate. (Hard step #1 was taking an eight of an inch off of a round thingy. Fun!)

Chris and our slot.

The image below looks like a finished product, right? WRONG! Notice how offset the plate screw holes are? Um... yeah. Our spring is too wide. We've yet to fix that. I should just be a matter of cutting down the spring... what could possibly go wrong?

It does look quite nice without the spring in place.

We've made more progress - resurrecting a 1980's era drill press, boring out the Jeep's mounting holes so that it can screw onto the Neon's intake, that sorta thing.

More importantly, however, ATS' Frankenpress (bearing press) has been put to successful (gasp!) use. We christened the press Clifford (it's big and red) and our triangular brace Fred. Cliff, obviously, pitches while Fred is the catcher. Doncha know. Thanks to Cliff and Fred, we now have new wheel bearings... on one wheel. Only one. But they'll get busy this weekend and bang other other out. Here's a pic of Fred's conception:

More work needs doin' including tracking down a new electrical Gremlin. Like I said earlier, what could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Car night

If you don't bleed on/for your race car, you ain't doin' it right.

I'm doing it right.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The unsexy side of LeMons

In a perfect world, LeMons should be about going fast in crapheaps or going fast-ish (sometimes) in stoopid silly crazy macheens while we all avoid penalties, wrench madly and have a good laugh. Unfortunately, the world isn't perfect. That's not all LeMons is about.

So what else is LeMons about? Ridiculous amounts of tools and the space needed to store them. Spare parts that come out of our ears. Our crapheap did have a home for all the tools and belts and clutch cables and CV axles; we appropriated a teammate's garage. It had become LeMons HQ... and the HQ was in chaos. 10 mm socket? Can't find that! Oh yeah, it's only the most used socket on our rusty crusty Neon, but that didn't seem to matter. Specialized part for the sister Jetta? ATS knew he had it... somewhere. Old oil? Oh yes, we had that in abundance!

Something needed to be done. Something not sexy. Something practical.

A garage re-org. We documented our effort, and we are proud. Please see below!

All that crap was in piles along each wall. There was some organization... but not much.

Look! More shelves!

He's still so proud.

TetanusRacing HQ

The owners stand proud.

Even the lightbar has a home.

It took us a good hard two days of work, but we got results. Our race prep will go more smoothly, ATS actually knows what parts he has on hand for the Jetta, and everything looks so much prettier. It might be unsexy LeMons, but it's still all good.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

2011 Gator-O-Rama Thank Yous

The pits were fun and friendly, the racing was clean, the fixes heroic, and the judging was excellent. Thank you to everyone involved. I love LeMons racing, especially in Texas.

I do need to highlight some specific individuals for awesomeness:

Rich for the tools. Having the right tool at the right time made a potentially terrible, painful job quick and blood-free.

Zach, Kent, Bill and the entire Mostly Harmless racing crew for general awesomeness.

Troy for possibly loaning us a trailer. Just the thought is making us drool.

Matt and the Luchadores team for the catfish. That sh!t was good!

komododave for brisket, encouragement and sympathy. You rock, my man.

Marty showed up instantly in our paddock when we broke. Mark was only slightly slower to show up. I think he had longer to walk. How cool is that? Thanks, guys.

Brian for blowing up. I know it sucks for you, but it definitely amuses the rest of us.

Arcangel needs recognition as the most awesome woman in Lemons. (Sorry Anna!) She's actually remembered my name since the first race, and her stories are fantastic. Thanks for hanging out, and the cookie.

John (the Hoonatic) admitted his car was a risk factor for herpes... while is girlfriend was sitting on his lap. Thank you John for one of the funniest moments of the weekend.

Sajeev and Scott need recognition for general after-hours awesomeness.

The Blue Goose guys were wonderful neighbors. We eventually had a multi-canopy compound that could have housed a small third world country. Very cool. They also loaned us their rolling cart, which saved my aching back. Not only are they good racers, they're friendly. Fantastic!

I know more people need recognition, but my tired brain can't produce any more names. Fantastic weekend. I'll see all y'all at ECR for the North Dallas Hoopie!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Belated Sunday Recap for Gator-O-Rama

By now most followers of Lemons will have already read Sajeev and Phil's semi-official Lemons coverage, so I'll just share a few tidbits from our weekend.
The Houston art car community has some overlap with the Houston 24 Hours of Lemons community, so we frequently get the pleasure of an Art Car or two stopping by. This mirrored Ramcharger dropped by on Saturday, as did the Buick Reflectra.

As mentioned in the Saturday posts, we lost a CV axle during the afternoon. Finding a part cost us 2.5 hours of track time. Too clueless to have all the spares we need? Why yes we were! Here's a close-up of the axle-- it sheared right off. Mary was driving at the time, and the shaft snapped as she downshifted for the tightest, slowest corner at MSR Houston. When she let the clutch pedal out, no forward thrust ensued as the differential sent all the power to nowhere, spinning the tiny stub left in the transmission housing.
This just isn't supposed to happen.

Under the revised 2011 Lemons rules, the People's Curse may not always lead to a car being destroyed, as it almost always did in 2008 and 2009. This time around, two teams got just enough votes each to get given the penalty treatment from the judges. Their choice? Industrial plastic wrap to attach the entire team to the car for a parade around the paddock.

Since our repair time had us well out of contention, we were able to just chill out for a bit and concentrate on using the remaining track time to become better racers. Joe is our fastest driver and is also quite a good instructor. By positioning himself at the timing & scoring tower he was able to get a good view of my approach to some key turns, and he radioed me advice each lap. The immediate feedback really improved my speed through a big portion of the track after just a short while.

We also spent time adjusting tire pressures carefully and discussing the changes amongst all the drivers, and the end result is that we've gotten the Neon to be a much better-handling car. With its weight distribution, it is naturally an understeering car, but now Joe has tuned it into something that approaches neutrality and rotates more easily without trail-braking.

Unfortunately Chuck, Juan, Hugo, and Simon weren't able to get the Jetta running despite some welcome help from several other teams. That's one thing I love about the Lemons paddock-- it's like a brain trust for fixing cheap cars. The Jetta needs more power but corners like a masterpiece, so they'll keep at the repairs and I'm sure do well at a later race with it.

Hit the 24 Hours of Lemons forums for lots of pictures and everyone's feedback and thanks. We'll be back for more at MSR Houston this year, but for now our attention turns to preparation for Eagles Canyon in April in the Decatur, TX area. In between we'll be taking on Texas World Speedway in Joe's other cheap race car, an early-90s Thunderbird, in the Chumpcar series to boot. More than we can chew?  I sure hope not!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Repair update

The neon is reassembled but needs some fluids in the morning.
The Jetta had a catastrophic engine mount failure -- sufficient to leave its starter somewhere on the track -- so reassembly is taking a little longer.