1 2
Suprf1y
Suprf1y UltimaDork
8/13/18 4:33 p.m.

I've had a lot of project cars over the years, sold only one that I never should have, but when I was driving this car I liked it so much I vowed never to sell it.  I bought it in 02 for $300 from an old farmer. It had been beaten, rear ended and fixed (poorly) and just plain worn out. I don't remember the mileage but it was high. I don't think I bought it for the challenge, but that's where it ended up in 03.  Lot's of work through a brutally cold winter, but it was done and I was very happy with how it turned out for the approximately $1000 I had in it. So I used it to commute and hoon around for a year then in 04 took it to Maxton to go after the production supercharged record. I got it.

Back then you could get almost as many runs in a day as you wanted and I took full advantage, experimenting with boost, timing and fuel until I either went faster, or broke it. I broke it. Only a blown head gasket but I brought it back, parked it in my shop and moved on to about a dozen other projects and there it's sat since late in 04, patiently waiting for me to return.

And here it is today

In a few weeks my son is taking the Vette. He's in love with the car and I'm not, so it's going to his house for a while. A few years in I realized that as awesome as the car is - and it truly is, it's just not me. I considered a 98-02 Z28 because I love the way they look, and because LS, but they really did nothing for me.  I think I want an Abarth so I'm watching and waiting for the right colour combo at the right price, but in the meantime I will put this back on the road and see if it's nearly as much fun as I remember.

TLDR: I realized my current car wasn't exciting me so I'm putting my old (favourite) car back on the road to see if it does.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/13/18 4:51 p.m.

Is that a Firefly?

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
8/13/18 7:05 p.m.

That particular Firefly is one of my favorite Challenge cars of all time.

759NRNG
759NRNG SuperDork
8/13/18 7:29 p.m.

Wait a minute what was the lower 48 equivalent......a Suzuki sumpin oar other???? 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/13/18 7:37 p.m.

I think I speak for 759NRNG and all of us that live over 1000 miles south of the border when I politely request a primer on what they holy hell this is. 

759NRNG
759NRNG SuperDork
8/13/18 7:39 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

I think I speak for 759NRNG and all of us that live over 1000 miles south of the border when I politely request a primer on what they holy hell this is. 

Amen Brutha!!!!

Badtz
Badtz New Reader
8/13/18 7:41 p.m.

Chevy Sprint? Either way, fun little cars

759NRNG
759NRNG SuperDork
8/13/18 7:42 p.m.
Badtz said:

Chevy Sprint? Either way, fun little cars

Like 3cyl fun???

Badtz
Badtz New Reader
8/13/18 8:13 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

Like go kart fun, but yeah. My sister had a turbo model. It was sadly totaled. 

759NRNG
759NRNG SuperDork
8/13/18 8:18 p.m.
Badtz said:

In reply to 759NRNG :

Like go kart fun, but yeah. My sister had a turbo model. It was sadly totaled. 

FWD right?

Badtz
Badtz New Reader
8/13/18 8:20 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

Yep

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
8/13/18 8:23 p.m.

Suzuki swift...

Yes, they came with a turbo.

759NRNG
759NRNG SuperDork
8/13/18 9:12 p.m.

All 108hp I suppose? wink

Suprf1y
Suprf1y UltimaDork
8/13/18 11:16 p.m.

In 87/88 in Canada you could get either a Pontiac Firefly, Chevy Sprint, or Suzuki Forsa. The US only go the Sprint and maybe the Forsa, though I've never seen one south of the border. For some reason the Firefly was significantly more popular, and that's what this is. 

This is from my garage (in my profile here) which is good because I didn't remember half of it. There's also a pic from when it looked good. It will look that good again.

Firefly turbo, AKA Suzuki Forsa. 3cylinders, 1.0 L of fire breathing power. 3tech cam, mild headwork, 2.5" exhaust, 20 psi boost, Apex springs, 13" American racing rims with 175 50 13 rubber. Stripped, and lightened with race seats, and Lexan windows at 1450 lbs. 2003 challenge car, land speed record holder, 14 second quarter mile, and 50 mpg

If anybody knows where I can get 175 50 13 rubber please let me know, but I'm pretty sure that size is long gone in N. America. So I'm resigned to running 14's, which is not terrible because I have a pile of Swift GT rims. They're light (I've heard 10 lbs), look good and I just might have a set of 185 55 14 rubber kicking around.

I guess because it sat the better part of 15 years I should probably replace a few things. Brakes, fluid, timing belt. Looking on Rock auto it looks like they have all that stuff and pretty reasonable. I think brake pads were under $6, so I can probably afford a few pairs. I'm really looking forward to driving this thing. I may do a few more things to make it a little faster but for now I'd like to just get it back on the road.

Thanks Angry.

Suprf1y
Suprf1y UltimaDork
8/14/18 4:27 p.m.

So this weekend I go to that place where I have to stay for 12 hours overnight even when there's not much to do. So I dug these out and may take them in with me to see if I can get some of the scabby, cracked and faded paint off and get them down to the factory powder coat.

They feel light and I've heard 10 lbs over the years so I thought I would weigh them. If they're really 10 lbs then this kitchen scale should handle it so I pressure washed them and weighed them up.

Which it did. 10lbs 12 oz. That's with 6 ounces of balancing weight on them. That's a light rim!

 

I could redo them in all white, or white spokes and aluminum/metallic silver for the OD? I think I prefer the latter as they were from the factory

Suprf1y
Suprf1y UltimaDork
8/16/18 8:15 a.m.

Progress!

Getting the car out of the corner it's sat for the last 15 or so years is a step. My younger son stopped by after work last night. We fed him and he helped me push stuff around to get this thing out to the pressure washer.

It cleaned up pretty good, though we noticed a few minor problems, it's nothing I'm too upset about

3 cylinders of fury need a little cleanup before I can button it up  but I have to remember how I did the ultra sophisticated extra fuel setup. Looks like a lot of wires but cold start injector firing off a Hobbs switch (who remembers those days?)and pot wired through the coolant temp sensor running through a relay.  It was definitely low buck and low tech.

I know there's a story behind this and I wish I could recall what it is. Anybody remember what these were called?

I'll clean up the motor first, maybe get it running then put it on stands and see what else it needs.

MrChaos
MrChaos Dork
8/16/18 8:21 a.m.

Check some the classic mini sites they usually have good tires that small. https://www.minimania.com/part/TYRE18/Austin-Mini-175-50-13-Yokohama-A539-Tire

 

Looks like Amazon has some Nanking's in that size as well.

Suprf1y
Suprf1y UltimaDork
8/16/18 8:35 a.m.

Thanks for the tips.  I searched Amazon but didn't find anything in that size and even though the Yokohama's look good would cost me pretty close to $1000 a set by the time I had them shipped (in the US - the cheapest way) and picked them up.

adam525i
adam525i Reader
8/16/18 9:10 a.m.

Free shipping inside Canada - https://pmctire.com/en/tires/nankang/ns-2r/nankang-ns-2r-175-50r13-v-bsw-175054.tire

I've bought my last 6 sets of tires through them and have had nothing but good experience.  Any thoughts of some open lapping at Toronto Motorsports Park or Grand Bend Motorplex once it's up and running, I bet it would be a lot of fun.

Adam

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/16/18 9:31 a.m.

I have a 90s vintage apexi safc super that i paid 25 bucks for. Would that be better than the hobbes switch? Its at least a decade newer tech....

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
8/16/18 9:39 a.m.

Homies

 

Suprf1y
Suprf1y UltimaDork
8/16/18 10:32 a.m.

Wow you guys are batting 1000 today!

My son gave me the heads up on Homies last night. Apparently he collected them, but how that one ended up in the car I have no idea.

Because I've started on the 14's (and they're free) I'll continue down that road but if it doesn't handle like it did on the 175 50's I'll buy a set of those Nankangs. I tried a number of different sizes and tires before and nothing worked even close to the 175 50's so I expect I'll end up going that route in the end anyway.

TMP? I've been meaning to take the C5 but can't seem to make it a priority for some reason. Travel is not the issue, I'm just the other side of Hagersville from the track. This car's been there before but on the strip. I remember waiting in line to get in for a test and tune and some punks in a riced up Civic pointing and laughing at it, or maybe me. Fortunately I lined up beside them on the track, ran a 14.7 and smoked them. That felt good.

D13, thanks for the offer but I've since accumulated a few extra injector controllers that should do the job. If not there's always megasquirt which wasn't really a viable option for me at the time.

purplepeopleeater
purplepeopleeater Reader
8/16/18 10:54 a.m.

Never worked on the 3 cylinders was a dealership tech @ a Suzuki store in B-more back then. The GTIs were a blast if you kept them on the boil.

 

Mezzanine
Mezzanine Dork
8/16/18 11:48 a.m.

Gross. I don't miss those hobbsswitchcontroledcoldstartinjectortorunmoreboost days.

 

Love this project though. Get 'er running please!

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy SuperDork
8/16/18 2:47 p.m.

I loved this when you brought it to the challenge, and I love it now.

 

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
Dyuj0ztAvm3JdpZ3gPoFxqsFvGlPq8zKhIfylfoxHEvH8geEGjUkc9s6dyFlSsb5