Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lurching back into motion

Now that the holidays are truly over, it is time to resume preparations for Gator-O-Rama. Junior did get all the registration tasks done for the new Neon and they're in the race too.
This week Andy and I reviewed the rulebook and Jay Lamm's emails for rule changes that would affect us and went over Lockjaw identifying things to do before race weekend.
Lockjaw the race car awakens from winter slumber

We really lucked out in finding a Neon for our LeMon. Parts haven't been expensive and once you strip off the things that make it feel like a cheap car (like, say, the entire interior) you're left with a simple car with benign handling and decent power-to-weight ratio. Other than the melty brakes and missing alternator belt, the car is doing well. After a battery charge today the car started right up on the first try even though it's been sitting since early November.

Tonight we verified that the front calipers are toast but the rotors are fine, the back brakes are great, and that two of our four tires are reusable with one more an acceptable spare. We also pulled off the spaghetti-thin front sway bar so Andy can take it along to the junkyard while searching for a thicker one from a Neon Sport or (grail) ACR. Rumor has it that the bar from a Sundance/Shadow may work in a pinch.

One task ahead of us is attaching some manner of muffler. We were able to run the last race as-is with the catalytic converter and exhaust piping, but Lamm has been very clear this time: all cars must run some kind of street-legal muffler.

Andy remembered the nest debris we found in the airbox and got creative to prevent a recurrence. Here is his invention: to keep the vermin out of our S.H.I.T (Super High Induction Tube) that pokes through the hood, he invented the R.A.T.S. (Rodent Abode Termination System).
R.A.T.S. (rodent abode termination system) to keep the vermin out of our S.H.I.T. (Super High Induction Tube)