All Postings For 'Car Modifications'
Progress on the E30

Despite the E30’s current engine problems (significantly down on power), Robby and I decided to press forward designing and fabricating the roll cage. One of the struggles of working in Robby’s shop is that he lives so far from supply shops that if you make a mistake, it can cost you a whole day of travel. Well, after traveling half a day to Lakewood and back, buying the the only piece of 1.5″ x 0.12″ DOM they had, our first hoop turned out too narrow because of an input error into the bend calculation software we were using.

The next day we drove all the way to Centralia to get another piece (this time 24′ in length, so there was enough extra for a whole hoop). This time things went much better, even though the bend calculator gave us the wrong cut length. Here’s a quick video of the bend preparation and the final product, which we’ll mount up on thick plates and a box.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

24 Hours of LeMons Travel and Tech Inspection Days

Travel day started off well. Everyone was in good spirits, well prepared for our 9-ish hour journey. Things went well until just after Canyonville, Oregon deep in the mountains. 5 of the 8 bolts securing the axel to the hub sheered off and 3 of them backed all the way out. This caused the engine to over-rev and exploded one of our radiator hoses.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Pre-First-Inspection Festiva The 2nd day also started well and degraded with bad news. I personally was a bit of a dick and slept in a bit, but the rest of the team went to the track to get “a good spot”. We spent the first half of the day getting ready for tech.

We finally headed over to tech at 1pm, only to fail for a transmission leak that made itself evident when the car was jacked up on the passenger side and because our front wing (Pike’s Peak style) was “too sturdy”. We begrudgingly took off our lip, made a trip to the hardware store for a bolt, cut the bolt down to size, and riveted on some ABS plastic to make an air dam. Then with 30 minutes to spare, we took it over to tech and passed.

Brake, Suspension, and Tire Work All Done

Well, after the last track event I evaluated my car’s consumable situation. I checked my brake pads, rotors, and tires and, well, everything was dead.

My tires were the worst offender, they were shot. So I ordered up some wider tires and from a different manufacturer, Dunlop Direzza Z1 star specs. I wanted to return to a stiffer sidewall than the RE-01R offered, more width, and more grip. The Z1’s offered all that, so I picked them up. Since the tires were coming off, I took the opportunity to get minor curb rash repaired on my wheels as well. So, far, the tires feel great but I only have limited amount of miles on them and they were over inflated at the time.

My front rotors were also toast and my rears weren’t in the best shape ever either. So, I got lighter 2-piece rotors up front (Gyrodics). My front EBC reds had 30% life left in them, but I was unhappy with the performance. So I spent the $5 to upgrade to the package deal from AMS Performance and get the PFC 97 series compound front pads. My EBC Reds in the rear are still OK, so I’m reusing them in the rear. In the rear, I went with some Powerslot rotors, they were cheap and the rears don’t see a ton of heat. I think they will be adequate. My only concern is that the slotting in the rears goes all the way to the edge of rotor, which could induce cracking. Hopefully the lack of real heat in the rear will keep that from happening.

Also, my new Tarmac 2 coilover suspension came right before all this stuff arrived too. I got those put on just before my new tires got here. Now all I have left to do is get the car aligned. I’m pretty excited to see how these, coupled with the new Dunlop’s work at autocross. Buuuuuuuuuuuut, now I’m broke. 🙁

Replica V-Limited Lip Looks OK!

So, I wanted to get a real V-Limited lip for a long time. Mostly for the aerodynamic benefits, but I really think the lip completes the look of the car’s front end. Also, since my car is already dropped about an inch (actually a bit more than that in the front because of all my additional camber from my camber plates), I don’t have a lot of clearance. I figured it would be a waste of a nice $450 V-Limited lip if I got one for the streets.

In order to save some money and frustration, I got a polyurethane lip for $175. They look like crap out of the mold, so I went to Home Depot and grabbed some 600 grit sand paper and then to Schuck’s to grab some Duplicolor plastic adhesion promoter and then some flat black bumper paint.

I then wet sanded down the lip with the sandpaper, wiped it clean and then looked for imperfections. There were a lot of cracks and scratches in the lip so I gave them a college try but couldn’t get most of them out; none of them are too serious though. I cleaned the lip again and then sprayed on about 3-coats of the adhesion promoter. I let that dry about 10 minutes. Finally, I applied about 6 coats of bumper paint. Lighter, faster arm-movement coats and then the later coats were slower and thicker. I think it turned out really well.

V-limited Passenger Side

V-limited Driver Side