Racin' With Face

October 21st, 2013 at 6:15:37 AM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3033
Quote: odiousgambit
sorry Face I am no help with this stuff


No worries (although I'm curious as to what you were gonna post ;))

With a big enough lever you can move the world. I'll get it off one way or another.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
October 21st, 2013 at 7:46:02 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 47
Posts: 3985
Leave it on.... you can blame each lost race on it.
October 21st, 2013 at 8:01:58 AM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3033
Quote: Fleastiff
Leave it on.... you can blame each lost race on it.


Another guy suggested that, too. Not blaming the lost races for it, but just leaving it so I didn't have to deal with it until it blew. But then I think of those splines shredding and filling the tranny with metal, or the axle snapping and banging around the suspension and brakes... I just gotta fix it.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
November 1st, 2013 at 11:17:00 AM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3033
I havenít updated in a while and while I donít have pics to make it interesting, I better make an update before I do so much an update would be impossible.

I got the axles off eventually. The new breaker bar, all sorts of heat and PB still didnít work, so I had to remove the entire steering knuckle. That presented its own problem, as all the ball joints were likewise seized. Fortunately I had a pickle fork and combined with the Problem Solver, I managed to bust them all out. With the knuckle in hand I ran into yet another problem, the bolts attaching the brake calipers were as seized as everything else. Long story short, I took everything to my racing mechanic and said ďhelpĒ, and by the next day, everything was apart, free of charge. Gotta love small town living ;)

Sooo, since I had the entire front end disassembled, I set about sanding and cleaning everything up and itís in good shape. But, those ball joints definitely needed replacing, so I set that up with my mechanic. In order to get them replaced, they needed the car, so I had to put the entire front back together. Iím proud to say, I did the whole thing in 45 minutes with no problems whatsoever. BUT, without the brakes to hold things firm, it became quite apparent indeed that both front bearings were shot, one of them worse than Iíve ever seen a bearing (and Iíve beaten some bearings in my day). Add another job for mechanic man.

The engine was my next bitch as I couldnít decide what to do with it. Replacing it, to include the new wiring it would require, was coming in at about $1,300 if I did the entire thing myself. As I feel confident I could accomplish it, $1,300 was the bar and that bar was high enough to stress me out about. I started thinking about just rebuilding the one I have, and placed yet another call to the mechanic. It was a pleasant surprise to have him call me back days later and have him very cooperative and willing to not only do the work, but do it as a racing project (many garages donít want to touch projects such as this). Despite the fact I have no working engine, no working tranny, and no brakes to assist him moving it around and keeping it in place, he was eager to just have me drop it in his yard and take it from there. The clouds parted and the sun shone on me that day.

Also, my cage came in. Ashís pops is likewise raring to go and plans to have me be a competent MIG welder by the end of the week that itíll take for us to complete the job. And since we canít borrow a MIG and rentals come in at several hundred a week, we found one to buy for just $300, an absolute steal for something that I can do sooo much more with. With one, the sky is the limit as far as fabrication goes. No more being held back by stick!

Now the bad. Having to rely on other people means having to schedule things, and I have almost no free time ever, at least not in the large chunks that this will require. In the next two weeks, the stars have aligned and Iím getting some true free time, where neither hockey nor work nor childcare will interfere. That is good. But that means I have but 11 days, only 3 of which are entirely free, to change 6 ball joints, 2 bearings, rebuild an engine, fab some seat brackets, install the seat, install the 5pt harness, diagnose and repair a tranny problem, and install an entire roll cage.

I just donít see how itís possible. But that ainít gonna stop me from trying.

And nowÖ Iíve some brackets to fabÖ
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
November 6th, 2013 at 8:26:43 AM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3033
Well now...

Fresh off the phone with my racing mechanic. The motor is salvagable, but has many issues. Water pump, rings, head gasket, valves...it's a list. All told, to rebuild it is about $300 in parts and $700 in labor and in the end, I'd have a rock solid, "new" motor. BUT, if I go with swapping it out, I would end up with a 65,000 mile piece coming in at $1,300, only 6 more hp, and would leave me to do all the work to swap it in.

After talks with the Team Owner, it looks like we're going with a rebuild.

That's a solid grand not budgeted, but as she says, we're not spending frivolously and dreams are expensive. She's all for it =)

Another thing not budgeted is the MIG we'll now have to rent, as the one we were gonna buy isn't up to standards. At $80 a day or $170 a week, that's another unexpected chunk that's getting tossed on. Hopefully, we can bang this cage out over the weekend and keep that particular bill as low as possible.

I also horribly underbudgeted the wheels and tires, figuring "street" meant I could just pull some off the rack at Dunn Tire or some such. Little did I know these guys are buying the highest of performance tires and even having them shaved, so the budget I figured would actually only cover one tire. The wheels I can probably pull out of a junkyard for next to nothing, but the rubber is gonna run me $180 per corner, unless I can dig through the interwebs a little deeper and find a treasure.

I'm tentatively resetting my "Do Not Pass" bar to $7,000. It's better than I had originally thought, worse than my second thought, but is still cheaper than any new toy, be it bike, wheeler, or boat. And I suppose it's not bad for trying to do this with no experience whatsoever...

Hell, I'm not a math guy. I just want to go fast =)


ID: Original: Adjusted: Actual:
Compressor and Tools $1,000 $850 $590
Trailer $5,000 $2,100 $1,000
Welder $800 $800 $300
Car $5,000 $2,000 $700
Spatula $120 $120 $0
Paint Supplies $200 $200 $200
Roll Cage $1,500 $300 $550
Rims and Race Tires $200 $50 $700
Race Seat $400 $400 $250
5pt Harness $200 $200 $70
Window Net $40 $40 $40
Fire Suit and Helmet $1,200 $1,200 $TBD
Engine Rebuild $0 $0 $1,000
Total $14,660 $8,260 $5,400+TBD


ID: Original: Adjusted: Actual:
Estimated Fires Set 0 0 16
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
November 8th, 2013 at 6:12:45 AM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3033
The only way to make a little money racing.... ah, to hell with it...

I picked up my mess last night after having all the ball joints and bearings replaced. Knowing the cost of these items and the general labor involved, I was thinking in the neighborhood of $300 for it all. But those damn ball joints... much like a wheeler, they weren't pressed into the control arms and tie rods, they were welded in. That meant one had to buy the whole damn assembly at thrice the cost, instead of just the ball joints. Son of a bitch.

When the cashier read me my bill, I ignored her. I thought she was reading a birthday of another customer in the store, a birthday that sure as hell wasn't in January or February. My mechanic came in and I started gabbing with him, and she said it again, "eight twenty seventy eight". "What is up with this chick and the birthday?" I thought again. And I saw she was looking at me. With a receipt in hand. With other hand outstretched for payment.

I think my face literally went green.

So I'm broke now. And mechanic man says my steering rack bushings are likewise bunk and really should be addressed before taking to the track. Fortunately, he said that's an easy fix that he'd just do for me so it was done. So I guess that's good...

It looks like my tentative bar reset lasted all of a few days as that $7,000 limit is already broken. Thinking ahead, I don't even see how I can stay under $8k, and I should probably prevent a stroke now and just reset the bar to $9k and call it a day.

BUT... as much as I've been up and down these last few weeks, wondering if I've made a mistake or not, I think I've found a way to spin it to make this easy to swallow. Most of this cost has been "start up"; the trailer, the tools, the suit and seat. Stuff that only need be bought once and could carry me through many years and all levels of racing, should I try to make this a lifestyle. The car itself should still come in under $4k, which c'mon, ain't bad for a race car. And taking all these kicks to the taint now, I'm hoping, will pay off come the race season. Sure, it stings now, but imagine being actually in the season, and now those bearings or ball joints or any of the other things I waited on give up the ghost. Then, rather than enjoying my dream coming true, I'd be stressing on how I could possibly fix it within the 6 days til the next race, all the while having a full time and a child and all the time those take up.

So my harmony has returned, and I'm getting back to work. Ash is just about to head to the city to pick up the MIG, and come 5p, we'll be laying out pipe and begining the cage. It's an 80hr job, and we have two and a half days to do it. This is going to be a whirlwind.

Giddyup!

ID: Original: Adjusted: Actual:
Compressor and Tools $1,000 $850 $590
Trailer $5,000 $2,100 $1,000
Welder $800 $800 $300
Car $5,000 $2,000 $700
Spatula $120 $120 $0
Paint Supplies $200 $200 $200
Roll Cage $1,500 $300 $550
Rims and Race Tires $200 $50 $700
Race Seat $400 $400 $250
5pt Harness $200 $200 $70
Window Net $40 $40 $40
Fire Suit and Helmet $1,200 $1,200 $TBD
Engine Rebuild $0 $0 $1,000
Bearings, Ball Joints, Control Arms and Tie Rods $0 $0 $820
Total $14,660 $8,260 $6,220+TBD


ID: Original: Adjusted: Actual:
Estimated Fires Set 0 0 16
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
November 11th, 2013 at 3:21:24 PM permalink
TheCesspit
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 23
Posts: 1929
Maybe you should set a deliberate fire and burn something to relieve the frustration... or perhaps that's just me who likes a good burn up in times of stress.
It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die.... it's called Life
November 11th, 2013 at 6:05:30 PM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3033
Quote: TheCesspit
Maybe you should set a deliberate fire and burn something to relieve the frustration... or perhaps that's just me who likes a good burn up in times of stress.


Do you have a spy camera in my garage? ;)

I, for whatever reason, had planned to go to the casino on Friday for what would've been my first, non-work-related outing. But with nothing but the car on my mind, I didn't think I'd be able to focus and enjoy myself. So instead of going to the casino Friday and getting to work Saturday morning, I set right to work when I got home on Friday night.

Ash had the MIG at the house and waiting, and her pops the Master Welder showed up right after I got home. The first thing we realized was the seat had to go in first and it was gonna be a bitch. We ended up ripping apart the stock seat and cannibalizing the seat pan and runners to give us the connections and lift we needed, saving us several hours of fabrication. But despite this massive savings in time, the day ended 3 hours later and the job still wasn't completed.

I carried on after he left, spending another hour that night and an hour the next morning, and the payoff came with the seat being completely installed. With his arrival at noon on Saturday, we were ready to tackle the actual project of the cage.

We set right to work getting the main hoop installed, and recognized immediately that this was going to be labor intensive indeed. While the angles were all set, everything needed to be cut to size. And, since this is tubing, all the ends had to be "mooned" to allow the ends to set smooth against the round edge of the pipe. So, with no metal working experience on my end, and very little piping experience for MW, we set to work.

The main hoop was easy enough as it laid flat against the floor. MW tacked a plate to the floor, then tacked the hoop to the plate, and within 15 minutes the main hoop was in. But right after he did that, BANG, the hose for the CO2/Ar just exploded. There was no rhyme or reason for it, it just popped. We gave a half assed attempt at taping it, which leaked our $60-a-tank gas all throughout the garage, but it just wasn't any good. Ash stood by, turning the tank on and off as we needed, but the MIG just wasn't getting the gas it needed. And just like that, with the weekend before us and a holiday capping it off on Monday, the whole project looked to be dead in the water.

We carried on for a bit more, cutting pipe for the rear struts and cross member, but MW's attempt at tacking wasn't up to his high standards and he called it a day. With half of my time now gone and so little done, I waited only minutes before I couldn't take it anymore and got back to work by myself. I managed to get one of the rear struts tacked in to my standards (tack...let go...did it fall off? No? Then it's good =p) but with two days down, we'd only got the seat and two easy bars out of 10 (most of which would be a right bitch to get on) Things were not looking good.



Sunday was Jax's b-day party, so I wasted no time messing about with my car. Until I came home, that is, and just had to spend another 2 hours doing as much as I could. Mostly it was cleaning the garage and making an efficient workspace, but I did get a few bars cut up and ready, should a miracle find us on Monday.

I awoke Monday to find Ash gone, and shortly after I received a text that she had got a new regulator hose and we were back in business. Not only that, but the co. we rented from is going to start our rental tomorrow due to our problems and loss of work time, so things were kind of looking up again. MW showed up immediately and we jumped right back in, ready to do some serious work.

For 5 hours or so, we were really cooking. MW was mostly there as an extra set of hands and to weld, so it was I who did all the measuring, all the fitting, all the cutting. And, me being me, I sure as shit wasn't going to use angle finders, squares, and measuring tapes. I had a screwdriver to scratch my marks, my right eye to line things up, and we just hunched and figgered our way through it. I constantly reminded him that in my carpentry days, I was called "The Butcher" due to my non-measuring and "fix everything with a hammer" ways, and he should suspect a catastrophe at some point. But hour after hour, things just kept falling together, almost as if we knew what the hell we were doing.

But then, at hour five, non superstitious me stated that I couldn't believe our progress and how well it was turning out, and offered that for this whole damn project, my one wiring mishap excluded, I've done everything right the first time. And with that, I stood up, went and cut a pipe, and came back to find out I cut it a whole 3" too short. Three Freaking Inches >< Can't fill that gap with a MIG.

But almost immediately, as if the stars had aligned, I cut another piece for him to weld on as a repair, nailed the angle first time as if it was made for it, and the pipe was whole again in 10 minutes flat. Mistake completely erased. Not only that, but when we held it up to remeasure and cut it to length, it was bang on. Things were going almost to well.

And that's it. There is no "gotcha", no build up to a dramatic finish. 7 hours after we started, every bit of the cage in my possession was now a part of the car. It's in! All that remains is to fully weld the joints (half of which I've already banged out tonight after MW left) and to measure and order the NASCAR-style driver's door bars.

Oh, the "spy camera"... I obviously need a work light in the car, and those things get bloody hot. I had it on so I could see the joints up by the roof and didn't notice its proximity to a towel I had over the fuel filler tube to protect it from slag and fire. With the welding hat on and the smell of burnt metal in the air, I neither noticed the smell of incinerated cotton nor the increased luminosity in the cockpit. Buy the time I finally flipped my welder's hat up, the towel was fully engulfed were it sat on top of the fuel filler spout.

So... deliberate? No. But I did set a hell of a fire ;)









ID: Original: Adjusted: Actual:
Compressor and Tools $1,000 $850 $590
Trailer $5,000 $2,100 $1,000
Welder $800 $800 $300
Car $5,000 $2,000 $700
Spatula $120 $120 $0
Paint Supplies $200 $200 $200
Roll Cage $1,500 $300 $550
Rims and Race Tires $200 $50 $700
Race Seat $400 $400 $250
5pt Harness $200 $200 $70
Window Net $40 $40 $40
Fire Suit and Helmet $1,200 $1,200 $TBD
Engine Rebuild $0 $0 $1,000
Bearings, Ball Joints, Control Arms and Tie Rods $0 $0 $820
Total $14,660 $8,260 $6,220+TBD


ID: Original: Adjusted: Actual:
Estimated Fires Set 0 0 17
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
November 12th, 2013 at 2:20:37 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 111
Posts: 4446
Work light?

I had been looking at those led head lamps with strap for awhile, but thought the high powered ones were a bit steep in price.

But then I saw a Ray-o vac 100 lumens for $10 at (lowes or home depot) and bought it.

That thing will blind you. But even outside in the sun, you can aim in a tight place and see better, And it's hands free.
No one has ever proven I am not God.
November 12th, 2013 at 4:19:58 PM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3033
Quote: rxwine
Work light?


Work light, shop light, I dunno. In the second pic in the last post, it's that bright ass thing in the lower right of the pic. Sits on the floor, has a cage over it... a work light. I suspect it has a 100+w bulb in it, cuz that bastard gets hot. If I'm working near it I don't even need to use the torpedo heater, even on days like today where there's snow on the ground.

I dunno if it's a product of my severe colorblindness, but LEDs really bother me. They're surely bright as the dickens, but it sort of blasts out whatever I'm looking at. Everything loses its texture and looks like an overexposed photo. I have one in the house for SD reasons, but I only use it for day to day stuff if I'm totally out of other options.

On the work front, I got just about the entire cage completely welded. I haven't done some of the difficult corners because I'm not experienced enough, and I also left the floor plates because I still can't stop burning holes straight through the thin metal of the 80s era Honda. MW said he'd be available should I need any help, so I think I'll call in the big guns to finish that part of the project.

I also contacted my supplier for the door bars. He's already sent the doc I need to enter measurements; unfortunately, I must be the only man in America that doesn't have Microsoft Word on his PC and will have to wait and print it out at work.

As the cage took only 45min to complete, I sort of absentmindedly began looking over the car to see what to do next. Before I knew it, I had the old exhaust dragged in and was already beginning to cut it up. It's strange; very little of this part of the job feels like work. Yeah, sanding gets boring and the Dynamat was torture incarnate, but mostly it's a lot like creative writing or painting. I just sort of enter a zone where there are no outside thoughts. It's just the task at hand, and only the task at hand. And before I know it, and often without even knowing it, it's several hours later and I suddenly have a product in front of me.

The exhaust was much like that. Everything I looked at resulted in a solution coming to me immediately and without cognitive thought. I looked at the catalytic converter and saw my flange. Out came the saw and I had a flange. I saw the bent and twisted pipe, and two little pieces I needed...were sort of brighter than the rest, almost as if to signal themselves. I cut the pipe, held it to the flange, and found there was nearly a .5" difference between the two. Again, with almost no thought at all, I was already moving for the propane torch, a screwdriver and a hammer. I heated it up at 6 different points and punched it into almost a clover shape. No measuring, no hunching, I just acted. And when the pipe went in, it was held fast and even. Weird stuff.

I got the flanged welded up tight, fitted it to the car, and again eyed and figgered what angle and what length of pipe I need to complete it. Looking at odd angles from 3 feet away, one would suspect a lot of re-cuts and mistakes. Nope. One cut, tacked it in place, refit it, and BAM. Dead balls on. I welded it solid and 2 hours, $0, and no help later, my exhaust was complete.



I wonder what tomorrow will bring...

ID: Original: Adjusted: Actual:
Compressor and Tools $1,000 $850 $590
Trailer $5,000 $2,100 $1,000
Welder $800 $800 $300
Car $5,000 $2,000 $700
Spatula $120 $120 $0
Paint Supplies $200 $200 $200
Roll Cage $1,500 $300 $550
Rims and Race Tires $200 $50 $700
Race Seat $400 $400 $250
5pt Harness $200 $200 $70
Window Net $40 $40 $40
Fire Suit and Helmet $1,200 $1,200 $TBD
Engine Rebuild $0 $0 $1,000
Bearings, Ball Joints, Control Arms and Tie Rods $0 $0 $820
Exhaust $0 $0 $0
Total $14,660 $8,260 $6,220+TBD


ID: Original: Adjusted: Actual:
Estimated Fires Set 0 0 17
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.