Monday, February 23, 2009

Wayback Machine 5: early February part III

February 8th was a big day of work on Margarita. We found a second Neon in large part because we'd thought parts commonality would make it easier to work on both cars and would reduce the spare-parts inventory we would need to bring out to the track.

In that respect, we only did OK... call it a B, maybe B+. The Margarita Neon is two model years newer than the Tetanus Neon and has the DOHC engine instead of SOHC, so they have different engine computers and coil packs. Four-wheel disc brakes vs. disc/drum setup lead to different brake pads. Four-lug vs. five-lug hubs means we can't even swap wheels and tires easily. In short, if you're ambitious enough to do multiple cars, do your homework and make sure they actually match!

Onward ho, no time for regrets. Next in our series of dirt-cheap engineering tips... welding pliers to a MacPherson strut shaft stuck nuts on top of your struts getting you down? Don't have the specialized tools to hold the shaft by its top while turning the retaining nut? Try Junior's solution: weld a set of pliers to the shaft. Only recommended if you have lots of pliers, obviously, and plan on replacing the strut.

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