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Work Weekend 2 Summary

So, last Saturday we had our 2nd official work weekend. I finally got some pictures to post up (taken by Nick).

The Face The Roof, The Roof...

Engine Close-up The Whole Engine Bay

  • Removed AC compressor and AC lines
  • Removed wind visor from roof
  • Stripped trunk, hammered out rusted panel, cleaned rust, primered
  • Installed the intake heatshield and external scoop that was sitting in the trunk
  • Removed some the loose wire from old stereo system
  • Diagnosed that the idle control valve (ICV) was, in fact, broken (we ordered a new one and Nick installed it early this week, it idles now!)

We have another work day tomorrow. We’re going to start stripping the interior and the cars weight down. We’ll also be working on ideas for the suspension and getting the engine to run a bit smoother.

24 Hours of LeMons Car Purchased!

My 24 Hours of LeMons team has officially got ourselves a car! I paid out $350 for a 1986 BMW 325 4-door. The car starts but won’t idle properly (or at all, it just dies) so you have to keep your foot on the gas and the revs up to keep it running. However, we have $150 to get her running initially. Also, as a bonus, the car came with a stereo and an equalizer and some speakers in the rear. We’ll be able to sell that stuff on Craig’s List to get some extra spending room.

The body is in decent condition. It has some pretty bad passenger-side rear-fender damage and the passenger-side front-fender is a little dinged up, but other than that, the paint just looks like shit.

Right now we’re concentrating on fixing it before get the cage built in and add the race seats and other equipment. We think we’ve figured out that it’s a fueling issue as we’ve cleaned the O2 sensor and tested the AFM unit and are still having the same issues. So, we’re going to check out the fuel pressure regulator and see if that can’t fix our problems.

I’m going to try and keep this page updated with our progress. I’ll try to get some before and after pictures as well.

Right now the technical team consists of the following members (and I think it’s a pretty stacked roster):

  • Myself (Software Developer, Decently-Good Driver)
  • Nick Smith (Mechanical Engineer, Good Driver)
  • David Lucas (Mechanical Engineer, Good Driver w/ some training)
  • Chris Schult (Mechanical Engineer, Good Driver)
  • Robby Podhola (General Contractor, general bad-ass w/ tons of experience in custom car work)

Of course we also have Jessica and Kate, who’s main job will be to be all sexy and stuff, probably wearing milk-maid outfits and what not. I guess it’ll depend on what theme we go with.

All of our ME members have different specialties that will be able to provide us a lot of smarts for working on different parts of the car and Robby has a lot of pratical car-building experience, so I’m pretty excited about the contest. If we can avoid getting hit and taken out, I like our chances.

WWSCC Sports Car Spectacular

The Sports Car Spectacular is the final WWSCC event of the season and it marks the end of my very first autocross season. I definitely improved over the course of the season. The WWSCC organization is a great one and put on some very fun events.

My season began on a high note, winning my first event in the novice afternoon class out of a very large pool of opponents (28 total). It also ended very well this weekend with me doing very well and coming very close to trophying in ST2.

I was hoping to do well enough to move past Mike Perkowitz in the ST2 season standings and finish the season in 5th, but I had really bad showing at the Enduro event earlier this season and I wasn’t able to over come it, despite beating Mike by almost 4 points this event. I also ran the first 2 events in novice, which gave me a smaller pool of scores to choose my good events from. Big props to Mike for keeping consistent throughout the season.

Finally, I’d like to note that my most recent upgrades appear to have moved me closer to the Spore couple, which means they are working (those mods being the camber plates + alignment and Cobb Anti-sway bars). I’m confident with another day or two of autocross and I’ll have new oversteer figured out enough to not spin (see my 3rd run of the SCS event).

WWSCC Miatacross 07

Here is the video from my latest Autocross. I placed fifth in ST2, middle of the pack. That isn’t bad considering how underprepped my car is for XSM but the ST3 guys with their coilover setups and a lot more driving experience are still a lot quicker than I am.

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I’m getting more consistent with the car and starting recognize the weaknesses in it. I did pretty terrible for the first session (which in this case was the scored session) but didn’t do so bad for the 2nd half of the day running in the TO (time only) group. The results page was reported incorrectly so both my times show up under ST2, which is fine but just know that the bottom time that has a TOPM index was my 2nd half of the day run and was much better than the first. It’s also the run in the video below.

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