Chapter 168

Aug/Sep/Oct/Nov 2010




    So I'm not going to bore you here. Well....rephrase...I'm going to try and not bore you. So freaking much went on to get Bic (aptly named since the 'we got screwed' award was due to a pen cap incident) back ready for the track I'll try and just keep it to the highpoints and throw up some pictures.  As usual, captions below the pics!

As Bic was, before the....RESURRECTION!!!

    As the car came off the track years ago, the motor was hurt (a crank repair that....didn't) and the fuel system had issues, but the basic chassis was sound. The quickie-chalkboard-paintjob was rubbing/falling off and the list of to-do's was pretty awesome. Fix engine. Cover fuel cell. Swap race seat since this one isnt very comfy for long stints. Ditch the factory cluster since nothing worked anymore. Fix wipers. Blah blah blah.

    HUGE thanks to Vorshlag's Terry Fair for burning two very loooong days to help. One day I drug the car up to him at Vorshlag World Headquarters and we built an AWESOME seat mount for the FIA Sparco going in, welded on the quick release steering wheel mount and welded up an exhaust spacer for the replacement set of exhaust manifolds. We made the seat mount raise the seat as it goes forward for shorter drivers, but also lower as it goes back for the taller ones. SLICK. The second looooong day will be added later in the on!

The FAMOUS Vorshlag LSx E30 and my rig outside VOMO hq, and Fair setting up for seat mounts.



Four above pics show the creation of the ubermount for the Sparco!

Next on the list of 'this must happen' was the fuel cell cover. I wanted it nice and tidy, clean enough to easily pass tech inspection, yet not too heavy and definitely not a hindrance to getting fuel in the car quickly. I hauled Bic over to Countryman's place and in the span of two nights we laid out, mocked up, cut/bent and temporarily installed the cover. I would end up taking it home to fully assemble it, but Countryman has a sheetmetal brake at his place and that is what we needed. We never even took Bic out of the trailer (good idea, Mike!!) and although it was a bit chilly, we got the work done. Huge kudos for the help!!



The above pictures are the initial fabrication least some of them. Coming along nicely!!


Me putting the rivets in to finalize assembly. Fit like a glove!


Fair brought his dimple tool and flush mounted the butterflies....totally p!mping cool!!


The finished product and Fair's new '11GT ride that I got to drive a bit. WAAaaaaay slick pony!!!!

The next portion is the motor. Ug. So much went wrong and/or became an obstacle that I don't know where to begin. I had an old shortblock that still showed slight crosshatch on the cylinders so I decided to use that with some old late 80s heads. Found a good 2bbl carb/intake to 'keep it real' for the judges and went to put it all together. Based on the factory exhaust manifolds (tiny) and y-pipe, a 2bbl carb and intake (goodbye horsepower) and a factory radiator, anyone thinking this is some uberfast cheater car should be quelled. Our previous good finish (2nd overall) was with a fastest lap waaaaay outside the top 10 (16th iirc) and we didn't anticipate any better here. We were going for plain old reliability and 'keep making laps'. More on that for the race chapter. So Anna comes over and from start to finish we have the old motor out and swinging in 40 minutes. Then the cleanup, remove old instrument cluster, old nose to get to the headlight buckets, etc etc. Over the course of a few weeks I slap the motor together and as I'm putting on the last cyl head, the 2nd to last bolt (intermediate length #16, forward on bank 2) tightens to nearly the third step (25-50-75) and then spins. Doh! This is the last week before the race. No time. I've already had an oil pan bolt break the head off (which I'd never had happen) and I RTV'd the living daylights out of...and now this (again...never had a head bolt strip either). So I reach in through the water pump hole and can feel the threads of the bolt and more space. Out comes the intermediate length bolt, in goes a long one and I get it to 70 and stop. Plenty of goop on'll be fine. Really. Sure. I hope. Fair comes over to do the butterfly dzus install and helps stab the motor and then I discover the passenger head (the one with the bolt issue) does not have the correct pattern for the exhaust manifold that is going on. The last bolt on the passenger side wont have a hole to go into. Instead of 6 manifold bolts, we'll save weight and just run 5. What could go wrong? All of this warm-and-fuzzy list simply adds onto the fact that the block is setup for the wrong side dipstick AND wrong install height. Yup, instead of a passenger side pan-rail install, this block has a drivers side block-deck install. Totally blocked by the shielding on the drivers side manifold, so the shielding gets cut off and the tube fabrication begins. Yup, modified it to work, it is now RIGHT next to the manifold and it is simply another thing we lay at the feet of the Racing God Raceaflais* (Race-a-flay-us, see more below) and pray he does not use it against us. 


Getting the motor out and clearing up the nose.


Left: See the broken bolt head? Not bueno. On right, see the awesome RTV patch job!!! Will it hold? Or will it leak like a pig???


Bending time!! Hope it does not overheat being that close to the manifold...


Really tight fit on the dipstick and parts coming off or going in....not sure....


Motor swinging as Fair showed up and a few hours later in, and with the basics wired.


The old fender and then sanded one. With a P-C Orbital and 80 grit, that is about 6 minutes....


The mostly sanded car and primer going on...


Primer...and then the white got sprayed on.

    I was traveling for work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the event, and spent Thursday finishing what I could on the list to load up. It was a very long day and yet finally Anna showed up, the car went into the trailer along with bin upon bin of parts to finish the car, and more bins we hoped we'd not open (fat chance!), and we headed towards Louisiana.


*Raceaflais (Stolen from Hayashi's, but that does not make it any less true!!)
Greek god of Racing Chaos. You know how in school you learn that the Greeks believed that there were gods like Zeus, Thor, etc, that watched over human beings and manipulated some of the scenarios of their lives. I am convinced it is true, and there is a Greek god called Raceaflais (Race-a-Flayus), that manipulates all racers' lives and causes events to happen to see how much last minute flailing around it can make us do right before an event.  No matter what we do, no matter how much we plan in advance, Raceaflais rears its ugly head, and we are running around like puppets on a string, with Raceaflais sitting in the heavens laughing at us running around with our heads cut off.  I'm sure that any of you who take your car to the race track have met with Raceaflais!