Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
6/16/21 10:44 a.m.

I wouldn't worry too much about the body.  Hard to see its imperfections as it goes storming by up the hill anyway.

APEowner
APEowner SuperDork
6/16/21 10:47 a.m.
KevinGale said:

In reply to APEowner :

Yes I think this was/is a Chevy Cavalier.  Not entirely sure.  I think the roof panel may be what decides that?   Seems like I should know more about this but I didn't really care when I bought it and it doesn't really matter much since it's just a skin.  

The car really could use a new body. A bunch of the panels are getting pretty beat up.  Hanging a new body on the car is not really in my skill set.  I also don't have the right sheet metal tools.  My wife said I will probably solve the problem by just buying a new roller with a nice body and start racing that. :-)   

 

In the '80s when I was messing around with dirt cars we were transitioning from factory based bodies to completely fabricated bodies.  It caught me by surprise when I thought I recognized the Cavalier parts on your car since it's newer than that.  It could be that the sanctioning body wherever it was raced required a factory roof and or quarter panels.  Or, maybe it's just what whoever built it had on hand or preferred.

Hanging a modified body is pretty easy.  You can buy kits and they just rivet together.  You might have to do some welding to get the mounts where  you need them for the new body.

On the other hand, I think that unless you're putting a race car in a sponsors display booth somewhere there's no need for them to look good any closer than 20 feet away.  Keeping a race car pretty is very far down on the list of ways I like to spend my time.

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/16/21 2:47 p.m.
Jerry From LA said:

I wouldn't worry too much about the body.  Hard to see its imperfections as it goes storming by up the hill anyway.

I've been told that race cars should follow a 50/50 rule.  The car only needs to look good when you are at least 50 feet away or it is going by at 50 mph or more.

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/16/21 2:56 p.m.
APEowner said:
KevinGale said:

In reply to APEowner :

Yes I think this was/is a Chevy Cavalier.  Not entirely sure.  I think the roof panel may be what decides that?   Seems like I should know more about this but I didn't really care when I bought it and it doesn't really matter much since it's just a skin.  

The car really could use a new body. A bunch of the panels are getting pretty beat up.  Hanging a new body on the car is not really in my skill set.  I also don't have the right sheet metal tools.  My wife said I will probably solve the problem by just buying a new roller with a nice body and start racing that. :-)   

 

In the '80s when I was messing around with dirt cars we were transitioning from factory based bodies to completely fabricated bodies.  It caught me by surprise when I thought I recognized the Cavalier parts on your car since it's newer than that.  It could be that the sanctioning body wherever it was raced required a factory roof and or quarter panels.  Or, maybe it's just what whoever built it had on hand or preferred.

Well in truth I don't know for sure the 1990 year I have for the car is accurate. It's not like there is a VIN number on it.  I've called it 1990-ish more than once. 

And you are all basically correct about keeping the car pretty.  It's definitely lower priority.  I does matter a bit to me but not enough to replace anything yet.   I mostly just beat the panels back in shape and called it good.  The lower part of the side body panels on both sides have been pretty well beat up by various off road excursions over the years.

APEowner
APEowner SuperDork
6/17/21 12:16 p.m.

In reply to KevinGale :

It's definitely easier to keep them looking good if you stay on the racing surface.  If I were better at that I might have a different policy about how my cars look...

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/17/21 3:16 p.m.
APEowner said:

In reply to KevinGale :

It's definitely easier to keep them looking good if you stay on the racing surface.  If I were better at that I might have a different policy about how my cars look...

LOL!  Yup,  It would help for me if I wasn't trying to be competitive.

I struggle with holding myself back for my own good.  There is a post earlier in this thread about my deciding to throw caution to the winds at Okemo in an attempt to win. (It worked that time.)  It should be scary and at some level it is but what I most remember about those runs is the freedom and a certain relaxation.  Normally there are seemingly a 1000 places on the hill where I am deciding on the fly how hard I want to push but on this type of very rare max effort run it is simple and free.  I don't have to decide if I am going to take the risky but fast line through a corner or bad section. I know before I get there that I am already committed to taking that line.  I don't have to decide if I am keeping my foot down through the 115 mph corner with all the broken up pavement. My foot is already glued to the firewall before I get there.   I don't have to make a 1000 decisions I'm just going to let the car go and trust I'll make it through.

Of course I don't do this often because in spite of feeling good it is far more likely to end with me off the road somewhere.  :-)  But it does feel wonderful to stop worrying about sliding off the road at triple digit speeds. Instead I can just clear my mind and go for it!

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/20/21 1:49 p.m.

Guess what I am doing today!  :-)

 

Also doing caster, camber and toe on the front end.  Yesterday I squared the rear end to the new chassis centerline.  The crash did bend the front clip just a little bit.  Not enough to worry about or replace but enough that I wanted to make sure all the wheels are pointing in the right direction.

759NRNG
759NRNG UberDork
6/20/21 7:31 p.m.

" The crash did bend the front clip just a little bit.  Not enough to worry about or replace but enough that I wanted to make sure all the wheels are pointing in the right direction."

Should the numbers not align .....all pun intended, will you then go back and replace those vertical tubes that have noticeable "blemishes" from this off road incident and perhaps previous others???  Or is this asking too much to consider at this point in the 'season'?

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/20/21 8:45 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

I don't think replacing the vertical tubes would help. I noticed the rear of the transmission is pushed to the left a bit and looking closely I think one of the main top tubes of the clip is bent slightly.  For the transmission to be over the whole thing had to have bent slightly since the motor is solidly mounted as part of the chassis with front and rear motor plates.

I think I pushed the whole front clip over a fraction of an inch.   I don't think there is any fixing that short of cutting off the clip and replacing it.  Even then I'm not sure who I would have do that. My goto guy for that stuff was Rusty Ball but he died recently.  He had a chassis plate and the tools and knowledge to put a new clip on and have it be aligned correctly. 

Anyway I don't think the front clip is bent enough to bother and I'm just going to ignore it for now.

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/21/21 9:31 a.m.

Went out last night to start to start on the new steering shaft and ran into two problems.   I thought all the u-joints were good but last night I found one of them had a bad spot. Not having time to mess around with a race this coming weekend.  I immediately ordered all new u-joints with two day shipping. 

Then I went on to start fitting the stubs into the shafts for welding. That's when I found out the tubing I ordered didn't have the correct inside diameter to fit the stubs.  I haven't had this happen before.  I couldn't immediately find where I had ordered tubing with the correct diameter so instead I ordered some drill bits from McMaster Carr so I can drill the tubing out to the correct size.  

This morning I was still thinking about getting the correct tubing. Some quick searches showed most places don't list the inside diameter.  Which made me think that one of the things I like about McMaster Carr is they usually list all the dimensions of things they sell.  Which of course lead to me saying "Duh, they surely sell tubing and list the inside diameter!"  And of course they do. I just ordered 6' of this.  So if the drilling doesn't work out I have a backup plan.

APEowner
APEowner SuperDork
6/21/21 9:46 a.m.

McMaster is my preferred vendor for just about anything in low volume.  They don't always have the lowest prices but their website sets the standard for all others and their customer service if first rate. 

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/21/21 9:57 a.m.
APEowner said:

McMaster is my preferred vendor for just about anything in low volume.  They don't always have the lowest prices but their website sets the standard for all others and their customer service if first rate. 

Yes I totally agree.   Added benefit for me is they usually have fast shipping.  Not sure if that is because they have a warehouse close to me or some other reason.  Many times when I order something I get it the next day without specifying overnight shipping.  An order that takes more than two days to get to me is rare.

759NRNG
759NRNG UberDork
6/21/21 9:07 p.m.

  "Even then I'm not sure who I would have do that. My goto guy for that stuff was Rusty Ball but he died recently.  He had a chassis plate and the tools and knowledge to put a new clip on and have it be aligned correctly. "

KG, I don't know your overall story, but would it be at all possible to acquire this chassis plate from Rusty's estate ? 

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/22/21 8:11 a.m.
759NRNG said:

  "Even then I'm not sure who I would have do that. My goto guy for that stuff was Rusty Ball but he died recently.  He had a chassis plate and the tools and knowledge to put a new clip on and have it be aligned correctly. "

KG, I don't know your overall story, but would it be at all possible to acquire this chassis plate from Rusty's estate ? 

Anything is possible but few things actually happen.  :-)

For one thing I have no where to put it.  It took up a whole bay in his shop.  And it isn't something I need often enough to make it worth it.  Nor am I sure I know enough to use it correctly.  The plate is just a tool I'm not sure what tricks are used with the tool to make sure a new clip is straight. 

 

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/22/21 5:56 p.m.

Happy Happy!  Just got done weighing and corner balancing the car. It came in at 2,286.9 lbs with 10 gallons of fuel.  Last time it weighed in at 2343.

This photo includes 200 lbs of weight in the driver's seat to account for my weight and and extra 7 lbs because the cell actually has 11 gallons in it right now.  I'm correcting to 10 gallons because I want a wet weight and 10 gallons is a nice even number. Very often the car has ten gallons or less in it by Sunday.

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/24/21 5:36 p.m.

Finished the new steering shaft last night. I even painted it in the dark outside with a flashlight.  Wanted the paint dry today so I could install it and take a test laps around the yard..  I did laps which always makes me laugh. I laugh even harder when I see someone driving by and slowing down.

I was worried I might find something else wrong but everything seems fine. I even tried all four gears and reverse.  If there is something else wrong it probably won't turn up until I'm on the hill.

759NRNG
759NRNG UberDork
6/24/21 7:50 p.m.

KG so glad to see this all together as I'm sure you are......hey what is the scripture on the dash panel in the above photo say? 

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/25/21 12:09 p.m.
759NRNG said:

KG so glad to see this all together as I'm sure you are......hey what is the scripture on the dash panel in the above photo say? 

Kelly is my wife,  Meg and Kat are my twin girls. Karen is my sister in-law and Kelly's twin.  Karen has appeared in this thread multiple times. She used to co-drive the old modified with me. She's not afraid of much since I know of lot of people who wouldn't drive a modified up a mountain if you paid them to do it.  lol

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/25/21 12:18 p.m.

Loaded up for Burke!

Glad the car is back together. The mechanic is still mad at the driver for going off at Ascutney. The driver on the other hand is pretty happy since smashing some wheels allowed 40 lbs of rotating weight to be removed.  :-)

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/29/21 9:46 a.m.

Burke went well for me but not for others.

Paul Tinguad had problems with the Super Chicken all weekend and ultimately he broke a driveshaft which then broke other stuff which took him out of the event.  Ian Cook had problems with shift linkage in his modified which pretty much took him out for the weekend.  Chris Reilly had lack of boost problems in his Subaru. Sherman wasn't going really fast in the Mod Lite either.

No one was going really fast. I was about 6 seconds slower than my personal best time at the hill. The road seems to have grown some new bumps and the existing bumps are larger.  I was complaining all weekend that I just couldn't put down the power I had because there was always a bump to upset the car. 

Still I can't really complain since I had the fastest time on Saturday and Sunday.  Nice to win an event!  Justin Taylor did give me a run though. He finished only about 4 tenths of a second behind me.  

Sunday wasn't trouble free however.  On my second run the car died just short of finish and I had to be towed to the top. It acted like I wasn't getting fuel.  I was certain I wasn't out of fuel so I suspected a fuel pump problem.  Earlier in this thread I had to tap on the pump to get it to work.  So after I was towed to the top I found a rock and hit the fuel pump.  (That felt good!)  The pump immediately started working again.  So a new fuel pump is in my future and a rebuild kit for the existing pump to keep it as a spare.  The motor on the pump always runs so it must be a problem with the vanes sticking. A rebuild might fix it but I think I will replace it and rebuild the current pump as a spare.

I pushed a bit harder on my third run and the pump kept working.  The car felt great. The engine was pulling. The rebuilt front suspension and steering did everything I asked.  The car felt solid.  After the run I decided that was probably about as fast as I was going to to that day without taking some risks.  I really wanted the car on the trailer in one piece, ready for Mt Washington, So I elected to call it a day.   Justin Taylor took another run trying to catch my but came up just short.

Here is some in car from the FTD run on Sunday. If you look closely during the slow motion launch you can see the yellow and the green lights reflected from the car right about where the number 25 is located. It was a good light since the car is moving before the green but not enough to red light.

 

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
7/4/21 12:39 p.m.

Taking advantage of the break before Washington to clean the garage.  Took me hours to put away all the tools scattered everywhere from getting the car ready for the season.   Then I decided it was time to mop the floor.  I know, I can hear some guys laughing.  They think it is crazy to mop down a garage floor. I understand and in a real shop who would have the time.  But this is just my garage and I occasionally like to get all the grease off the floor.  So a mop, some simple green and the floor is much better.

Oh and yes my sister in-law 's Harley is now living in the garage.  Not mine!  I'm not a motorcycle guy. I did have a Honda Trail 70 when I was a teenager that I beat to within an inch of it's life but I never got the urge to ride on the street.

 

759NRNG
759NRNG UberDork
7/4/21 7:35 p.m.

So after all the R&R on the suspension after the off from the previous event, are you good to go or is there more fine tuning to restore your confidence?

adam525i
adam525i Dork
7/4/21 8:05 p.m.

That's a pretty nice looking floor, definitely worth the time to get out the mop.

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
7/5/21 2:32 p.m.
759NRNG said:

So after all the R&R on the suspension after the off from the previous event, are you good to go or is there more fine tuning to restore your confidence?

Good to go.  I'm confident in the suspension.  Not so confident in my driving but that's nothing new. :-)

759NRNG
759NRNG UberDork
7/5/21 2:35 p.m.

Just keep it off those 'big ' stones ......how soon is Mt. Wash???

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