Sears Pointless Preparations
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    2000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    Sears Pointless Preparations

    Team Tinyvette is looking forward to the March race at Infineon. Instructions have gone out to team members - no more booze, sugar, or fried foods, and hit the gym. OK, this is LeMons and we do not have sponsors.

    The car has sat in the carport for a month since the BW race so I took it out on Monday to see how it runs. It started fine and ran fine for the most part. I noticed a few things we need to address, and there are a few more I have been thinking about.

    1. The play in the steering seems to be worse, or just seems worse because I've been driving newer cars for the past month. But still, with all new bushings, tie rods, and ball joints, I'd think it would be better. It could be the steering column, or the rack. It's not something that would keep us out of a race, but it is something to look into.

    2. Bogging, we've still got some. I wonder if the idle mixture screw is working itself out. It was 6.5 turns out at BW but should have been 1.5 turns out. We definitely need to fix this.

    3. The car is still fun to drive, and gets nods from passers by.

    4. We have some minor oil leaks in the front of the motor. I think fixing that will be optional. The other oil leaks seem to be gone.

    5. I confirmed the pulsing in the front brakes that Zep reported at the end of the BW race. We'll resurface the rotors. We'll also inspect front pads and rear shoes and will have spares ready. Pads have been ordered already. I'm also getting spare hubs so that a rotor swap at a race will be a lot easier.

    6. Tires. We're getting down to the wear bars on the front tires. I think they will be good for another day of racing. We have to spares already mounted and ready to go. The rear tires look good.

    7. Engine temperatures. ;( Watch the videos and you can see clearly where the temperature gauge is at, pretty much in the 210-220F range most of the time. Plus, the car overheats unless the fan is on, even during normal freeway driving, which doesn't make much sense. What we'll do is check the temperature sensor to make sure it is reading correctly and we will get another radiator. One option for the radiator was to recore the spare radiator and use that, the assumption being that it was designed for this motor and should be fine if it was like new. Folks here have recommended getting a Sirocco radiator, that that should be good up to 200 hp. But since this radiator is taller we'd have to install it tilted forward in the nose. We'll need a surge tank to go with this since the top of the radiator will be below the heads and BMW parts were recommended for this. While that sounds like a day in the mud at Pick-n-Pull, RallyBob has offered us his and is shipping them now.

    8. Tach. It bounces around some at low RPM and practically floats at high RPM, over 5,000 rpm. I'll put a scope on the signal line to see what it looks like. I'll find a signal source and see how the tach works when it gets a clean signal. What we do next depends on the result of these tests, but we do have an Autometer tach we can use, courtesy of Ford Cook. But I really like the Opel tach. Maybe I can fix it. I suspect the old capacitors are the problem.

    9. Electrical/charging. At BW the motor cranked weakly during pit stops. Hot motor? Bad charging system? We were running two 3 amp DVRs and an 8 amp fan, plus the ignition, but no lights. That doesn't sound like a lot. I'll get the charging system checked, and am looking into getting a newer higher-capacity GM alternator that has a built-in regulator. New ones are pretty and chromed, and shiny new parts = penalty laps, so it looks like a trip to Pick-n-Pull. Does anyone know which GM car we need to rob this part from?

    10. The oil cooler looks like it did a great job. At BW the oil temps were generally near or just below water temps. There is a small leak somewhere, and the oil filter seems to loosen up. Odd.

    11. Video. I think the four-camera set-up worked great, when it worked. It was a lot of fun being able to show the race from different angles, forward, rear, roof, and driver. We did have a problem on Sunday with the roof camera cutting out. I'm sending the CF card to Datatoys to see if they can recover the video we might have lost. I also looked at our installation for the cause of the problem and it turns out it was the I/O connector on the DVR itself, which uses a D-style connector like the one used on the video cards and monitors used on your computer. I think this is a Datatoys problem and I am curious to see what they come up with. Looking back at video from earlier races I saw evidence of this problem, and during bench testing before BW I found it and thought I had fixed it by bending the connectors a bit.

      For the next race I should have the audio problems solved. The current system does not have automatic gain control on audio. Normal conversations are recorded OK, but motor sounds and especially race sounds, are too loud. I am building an AGC module and we will be able to record audio correctly, plus we'll record radio conversations.

    12. Radio, it worked great. Brian, take notes. Using different ear buds did the job and all we did was use the ear buds that came with the radio, after clipping off the hook that goes over the ear. The IMSA set up in my helmet worked great, too. If you don't have an in-helmet mic and speaker, I recommend it, one big benefit is being able to use the PTT button on the steering wheel instead of trying to find the button on the cable.

    13. Streaming video! I'm looking into getting a modest system that will transmit A/V back to the paddock so that we can watch, and hear, the race from in-car. At some LeMons races people stream the race live, and if that is done at one of our races we'll make our feed available to them. Anyway, the system I am looking at runs on 12 volts and offers a 7 km line-of-sight range if we get their amplifier and high-gain antenna.

    14. Motor? We have a spare, almost ready to go, and we're told we can expect 120 whp from it! We'll need to disassemble it and clean it since it has sat for 10 years. The heads are off, and we have two of them. One is obviously shaved, both have over-sized valves, and also double springs that should let us rev at 7000 all day. We'll check the cams (no idea what is in them now) and piston-valve clearances, and no we won't rev it at 7000 rpm all day. Maybe I should get that shift light.

      My original idea was to keep the current motor until it is used up. Unfortunately, it is proving to be quite durable. Bernhard's idea is to import a 2.4L motor and run that. If you don't look too closely it looks just like a 1.9L motor. What I am thinking now, having watched many hours of video where we're getting passed all day, is that I'm tired of getting passed all day. Plus, the red/white/green Alfa that Brian ran down at Thunderhill in August somehow found a lot of speed for BW. Somehow? And the Mini that got turbocharged? Ask Geoff. I'm game for a motor swap, maybe not for March, but definitely for May.

    15. Rules change. We are expected to have 2" clearance between the helmet and roll cage. What that means for us is we need more room between the helmet and roof. Our options are to get a seat that reclines more, or cut out the floor and lower the whole seat and slider by 2 inches. If we go with the latter the question becomes, can we get the car in and out of the driveway?


    All in all, two big jobs, a few smaller ones, and some optional ones. Who's ready to get dirty?
    Last edited by tekenaar; 01-07-2011 at 10:00 AM. Reason: Pointnless in title

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    Sick with Opelitus My location broszzy's Avatar
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    How about a Gurney bubble

    Rules change. We are expected to have 2" clearance between the helmet and roll cage. What that means for us is we need more room between the helmet and roof. Our options are to get a seat that reclines more, or cut out the floor and lower the whole seat and slider by 2 inches. If we go with the latter the question becomes, can we get the car in and out of the driveway?
    option 3
    Ford GT Heritage Ed. w/ Gurney Bubble | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Last edited by Gary; 01-06-2011 at 10:20 PM. Reason: Added quote brackets

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    2000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    We considered that, but while it would give us room between the roof and helmet, the roll bar would be no higher. We'd have to add a hoop. Maybe a hoop could be fit inside the car/not stick out of the roof.

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    Have Opel, Will Travel oldopelguy's Avatar
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    It's a race car. Take the seat sliders out entirely and just bolt the seat to the floor. If that's not enough, take an inch of foam out of the lower seat padding.
    Lots of Opels, for a long time.

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    Site Founder My location Gary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldopelguy View Post
    It's a race car. Take the seat sliders out entirely and just bolt the seat to the floor. If that's not enough, take an inch of foam out of the lower seat padding.
    A race car with multiple drivers...
    My 24 Valve Ascona A wagon project blog.
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    2000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    Yea, multiple drivers, and very different sizes. We took the foam out already, but there wasn't much there in the first place. It is a Kirkey seat.

    I'll be confirming the need to drop the seat with John at EGR soon He's the head tech guy for LeMons now.

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    Member My location althewiz's Avatar
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    Ok, Mike. Time for me to quit stealing parts from the parts car and get down to some serious Opel Yoga on the Tinyvette.

    Alan
    73 Opel Manta Rallye (The Hanta Manta), 75 Opel Manta (KC), 71 Opel GT (Effie); 69 Opel GT (Tinyvette); 70 Opel GT (Oscar); 71 Opel GT (Ol' Rusty)

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    Senior Member ken2's Avatar
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    Even if the roll bar sticks out the roof with the bubble, the GT will just look more "MadMax" compared to some of the stuff I've seen attached to some of the other cars at Lemons in your videos.

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    2000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    We got our acceptance email last weekend, so we are officially in the race, after we pay the entry fee. There's lots to do between now and March and I'm hoping we can get the car to the track at least once for testing and maybe breaking in a new driver.

    RallyBob's radiator has arrived and we're starting on that install soon. We'll have to relocate the oil cooler and oil filter relocater, and as many of you know, all that room in the nose is difficult to get your head and shoulders and tools in at the same time.

    I've got a company interested in our efforts to transmit the video and audio to the paddock. It looks like we'll be getting a system to test. This system is normally used for stationary installations, but it runs on 12 volts, so we'll see how it goes.

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    2000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    Update

    Here's an update on our preparations.

    Cooling
    The radiator RallyBob sent us is here, but we're still scratching our heads as how to fit it in the car. Once we get it over to Geoff's house and pull out the oil cooler we already have in there we'll try getting it in there. Otherwise, we may get the stock radiator refurbished, or got to pick-n-pull with a tape measure to find something just a bit smaller, with a fan.

    We've also notices a few drips of water under the front of the motor. The water pump gasket is new, so maybe the 40 year old water pump is starting to leak, and just maybe having to run plain water is hurting the seals. Fortunately, we already have a new spare. (Thanks, Keith!)

    Electrical
    I spent about a week studying and redrawing the Opel GT circuits to better understand how it all worked, then about the same amount of time drawing up a new schematic for our GT, one that did not have the heater radio and such, had fuses where they should have been, had our gauges and ignition switches, a radiator fan, and four extra headlights. Then I pulled the ignition wiring and the temporary wiring for the front lights and wiper motors and restrung it. I also routed the alternator output wiring back to the kill switch and then back to the fuse panel, bypassing the starter motor which I had been using a a power distribution point. We think the spikes generated by the solenoid and starter motor were killing other components.

    Anyway, all of the new wiring is in and the new fuse panel is built and final install should be done today. Then we smoke test it.

    Then we add a CS130 alternator and smoke test that. It seems we need more alternator because during the last race the battery seemed to be getting weaker as the day went on. The car would barely crank after refueling.

    Engine
    Nothing to do, damn it. When will this thing die so we can swap in more power, without having to be too sneaky or feel so guilty?

    Actually, we're impressed with this motor's durability. But on our engine-todo list is tracking down a few remaining oil leaks and seeing if there is something we can do to improve high-RPM performance, after 5k it really fades and the tach is bouncing all over, so maybe some ignition work is needed.

    Also, a little tuning is needed to improve throttle response and eliminate what bogging we still have, which isn't much compared to what we had earlier.

    Helmet-Roll Bar Clearance
    We think we've got that taken care of. Don't ask.

    Video
    We're having our digital video recorders modified so that we don't get any more camera glitches or cameras dropping out during the race. The problem was tracked back to a connector. We'll have four cameras back in the car for the next race.

    We'll be testing out an A/V transmitter soon. We'll get a loaner to test and if it works out we'll have an in-car view of the race in the paddock. Add a projector, sell some popcorn, and we might actually be able to fund this effort. Also, there is a group that has been web-casting these races so it would be fun to be able to provide them with live in-car video and audio.

    Audio will improve, too. I'm working on an AWG preamp for the mics. Audio so far has been OK because it's just loud car noise, right? Actually, it can be loud and sound much better, plus the radio conversation will be clear.

    Personnel
    Alan has decide to not drive in the upcoming race. Taking his spot is a guy we almost picked up for the Buttonwillow race except things got so hectic at the end. He has barely any track experience, which is probably par for all new LeMons teams, but he has lots of high-caliber kart racing experience, so he know his race craft!

    Also, wrenching for us is our very own OpelWasp! We'll probably kick ourselves for not given him a seat in the car. Eventually we would lose him anyway because he plans to build LeMon's first Manta and race it. Plus SpeedyCop's team has already offered him a seat for the May race at Reno-Fernley, so I guess he is sort of taken already. But, and a big but, is that his knowledge and experience will Opels will be invaluable to us. I hope the time you spend with us and learning the LeMons philosophy and process helps you in your efforts down the line.

    Decals
    So very important in racing, and more are on the way!

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    Member My location West Coast GT's Avatar
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    Cooling - If you ned the radiator refurbished, I used a shop in Concord that will build custom or build a new core. $650 is what he charged me for the stock unit I took in. He had it back in 24 hrs. Most likely he was headed to Reno 'cause he wanted cash and wanted it before closing on Friday.

    Plain water? I run distilled water from Safeway, along with WaterWetter to prevent corrosion and provide lubrication. Its eco-frinedly and required by many tracks.

    Engine - yeh, I tried telling you these old blocks were bullet-proof.

    Helmet Roll Bar Clearance - sanded the helmet flat?

    Personel - I can wrench, however, I'm much better at mixing drinks and being a bad influence. Not much available time, but I've penciled in Sears Point weekend. What can I do to help? I've never raced except for the street version, and dad told me I'd never drive any of his cars again so I left home at 17. Based on this I'd not recommend letting me drive; but there must be other jobs. Oh yeah, I almost flipped a construction truck on the freeway. I've only totaled two cars, one being an Opel GT (so that doesn't count).

    Decals - I can brew coffee and run errands til dee cows come home.

    Keith

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    Non Civilian My location opelwasp's Avatar
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    I just bought a spool gun for welding aluminium last night. So I'll be working on that special project as soon as it comes in. Gonna get a couple more burrs to make the project go faster.
    Arguing online is the same as racing in the Special Olympics;
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    2000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    Long time no update, so here goes.

    After about 4 weeks the car is back on the ground again and rolling again. We had been doing a lot of small work on it this time around. After the last race the car was in good shape but we did have cooling and electrical issues to deal with. And we broke our exhaust, for the second time.

    Electrical
    For the electrical I sat down and spent almost a week studying and redrawing the Opel GT electrical diagrams. Stock wiring was never an issue for us for the first race because all we needed was ignition and brake lights and gauges. But with the December race and now a spring race coming and later a true 24 hour race, plus wanting to drive the car on the street occasionally, other stuff had to go back in. For the December race we had hastily installed the wiper motor borrowed from Alan's car and wired up the headlights. But it wasn't pretty and was not fused. Plus for the 24 hour race we'll need 2-4 additional headlights.

    So, after a week spent drawing up the electrical schematics for the tinyvette I went in and pulled all of the wiring that was in the car and redid it all. Now we have a nice fuse panel, everything is properly fused, and we have room to expand. I also replaced the #10 wire that ran from the alternator back to the battery and kill switch which is located behind where the passenger seat was, about 12 feet away, with #4 wire. That, along with a new 100 amp alternator, and I think we've solved the problem we had of not charging the battery.

    Last night I completed a removable panel that provides us with turn signals, a horn, back-up lights, and a auxiliary power outlet. We need these for street driving. The panel is easily remove for the race.

    I'll make our schematics available here once I've had a chance to make a few corrections.

    Safety
    For safety reasons I installed a 200 amp fuse near the battery and right next to that a switch that will allow us to disconnect the battery and take the switch's handle with us. With such long runs of our #4 cable I was concerned that a minor incident that would push in the passenger side a bit would short that cable to ground. Did I mention that the battery is in the back of the car, right over the gas tank? The switch with the removable handle was installed because occasionally we take the car into town and it was possible that some idiot would screw around with the car and run it into another parked car. We remove the steering wheel, but someone could still crank the motor.

    Other stuff? The installation of a flexible exhaust coupling will happen tomorrow. What we have now is welded and rigid all the way to the back of the car, and surprise, we broke it off at the collector, twice. The flexible coupling should solve that and hopefully eliminate the banging and clanging of the pipe against the body.

    Audio
    I'm building a simple mic preamp that provided automatic gain control for our DVD's which currently do not have that. The audio quality of the next set of videos should be much, much better.

    Steering
    We did a little welding to eliminate the slack in the steering. It was either that or shim it where the steering column meets the u-joint on the steering mechanism. Small thing, but big improvement in drive-ability.

    Instrument panel
    I redesigned it and the new one should be here soon. The gauges and lights are relocated for easier viewing, the switches and breakers conform to the new wiring, and best of all, the starter switch is a big red button. Actually, having used a toggle switch for this caused problems because when people wanted to turn the car off they'd hit the starter switch again.

    We also move the instrument panel higher so that the gauges are closer to the driver's line of sight.

    Performance
    Cheater mods? Nothing yet. We're hoping to get a ported intake before the dyno/tech/weigh/bbq day at Evil Genius Racing this Sunday. Oh, we did get a Petronix for the car. The tach would go nuts at around 5000 rpm and while it could just be a problem with the tach we though it could be telling us something about the ignition.

    Video
    I think we still have a deal with RF Link to test their A/V transmitter. If it works for us we'll be able to send video the the pits and for web casting, something which is gaining interest in LeMons.

    Transmission
    The transmission that is int eh car now seems fin but given our history of swapping them out at races we need to get a spare ready to go.

    I'll try to get a few pics up soon.

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    7,000 Post Club My location wrench459's Avatar
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    Performance
    Cheater mods? Nothing yet. We're hoping to get a ported intake before the dyno/tech/weigh/bbq day at Evil Genius Racing this Sunday. Oh, we did get a Petronix for the car. The tach would go nuts at around 5000 rpm and while it could just be a problem with the tach we though it could be telling us something about the ignition.
    And why not?
    Transmission
    The transmission that is int eh car now seems fin but given our history of swapping them out at races we need to get a spare ready to go.
    Yeah ya'll might want more than two just laying around.

    Si vis pacem, para bellum "If you want peace, prepare for war"

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    2000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    Why not, indeed? It's difficult for me to go over to the cheater side, some hangup I have had since childhood, but with Alan's gentle council I am making progress. He's starting me out with making some "repairs" then moving me slowly to hidden repairs, and eventually, to the pure evil level of cheating by trying to pass a 2.4 off as a 1.9.

    The dyno day went well. We tweaked the timing, or rather, got it back in spec, after timing it mostly by ear on that cold December night in the paddock at Buttonwillow. Peak hp is now 89 at 5500 rpm where is has about plateaued and torque is at 103 ft-lbs at 3500 rpm and drops gradually to 85 ft-lbs at 5500 rpm. A/F starts out around 11.5 but then stays in the 12.4 to 12.6 range from 3750 up to 5500 rpm. I'll try to scan the plot and post it.

    There were a couple of Opel guys at EGR today, too. Thanks for coming, and Don, I wish I could have seen the wagon on the dyno. Let me know when you do take it in.

    But compared to last summer, we're up 4 hp and 6 ft-lbs, with no engine work, just two races and 3-4 oil changes. It could have been weather related. It was much cooler today, or maybe it was a normal variation in dyno results, but whatever, the car sounded good and I take it all as a bill of good health, a "ready to race" go-head from the doctor.

    And we finally got to weigh the car. Total weight, without driver, 1991 pounds. That's about the same as stock so the weight of the cage and all is about the same as what we took out of the car. It is difficult to make a small car lighter. The '98 Thunderbird that went in before us has lost 1,500 pounds, even with the cage in the car, and came in at just under 3,000 pounds. That is an impressive diet.

    More interesting was weight distribution. Left/right is 52.2% and front/rear is 53%.

    All in all a good day. I had worked late last night and got up early to finish final work, including getting the new gauge panel in the car and finishing up other bits of the electrical work, putting the air dam back on, the rear deck back in, wiper arms, and other small stuff. We could race now if we had to, but having another two weeks to take care of little things, maybe even a little paint repair, will be a nice cushion. Oh, and install the Petronics (cheat?) and maybe an intake then maybe another trip to the dyno.

    Alan, are you ready for Pointless!

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    Member My location West Coast GT's Avatar
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    Transmissions - Why are you going through transmissions? Except for previous abuse, they should be sound. Your old stock engine shouldn't have enough umph to break them should they?

    Weight Distribution - I've heard that the GT can be balanced by relocation the battery from the nose to the luggage platform area. While it seems that a battery's weight wouldn't be enough to effect balance, by virtue of it being in front of the axle the weight is effectively greater.

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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by West Coast GT View Post
    Transmissions - Why are you going through transmissions? Except for previous abuse, they should be sound. Your old stock engine shouldn't have enough umph to break them should they?
    Two reasons:

    First, they're all mostly 40 years old now! And second, racing and street driving are nothing alike. Heat kills the 4-speeds in a hurry, and I've seen 4-speed oil temps above 300° F. Enough to cause parts to expand and seize up!

    My friend's ITB Opel GT (about 115 hp) gets 8-10 (20 minute) races on a rebuilt Opel 4-speed tranny. Push it to 12 races and they always fail.
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    We've moved the battery to the rear already. It sits just above the gas tank, hence the motivation for the extra fuses and such.

    We'll see if we can get a spare transmission ready. We've already got spare gaskets and those little bendable clips that go on the drive shaft. And we've gotten pretty good at swapping the trannies, even when hot. But so far the one we have in the car is working great, better than all previous ones.

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    2000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    Mike Meier
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    This coming Friday is a test day for us. (The race is next weekend.) We'll have the car at Thunderhill for a few laps, enough to get the car hot and put it under a little stress. New team members, if they can come, can get a little seat time in the car. Bonni is giving us a free pass for the event, for the whole team, a thank you for me reworking the T.E.A.M. Racing web site.

    I'll put my GTECH Pro in the car for Friday, to record handling G's. It'll be interesting to see what we get. I'm guessing at least 1 G, and Brian is expecting more. But, that's assuming we get a dry track on Friday.

    The car feels strong. Well, 40 year old 1.9L strong, and we've fixed the steering play issue. But, maybe it was already there and with all the slack in the system we never noticed it, but now the car feels like it likes to turn right, and when braking there is a definite pull to the right. We'll be looking at our castor settings again, and toe.

    The car still gets lots of nods and complements. People who know of Corvette Racing's cars keep telling us we did a great job with our theme. We just got more stickers, so now it will be even better. All we need now is a big black splitter and ALMS position lights on the doors.

  22. #20
    Member Team Unter Puff's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    Adam Davidson
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    Good luck! I am rooting for you guys.
    1970 GT - Why can't I find any of my nuts.

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