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Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
10/6/18 1:45 a.m.

2.5in Stainless Steel Car Rear Dual Exhaust Pipe Tail Muffler Tip. 

https://www.wish.com/share/56636efyin

i mean it won’t show up in time, but maybe?

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
10/6/18 8:06 p.m.

Lots I should update on, but I’m worn out after working on things for 13 hours... but pictures are better anyway...

 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
10/7/18 6:02 a.m.

In reply to Ashyukun (Robert) :

That color looks awesome!

Stampie
Stampie UberDork
10/7/18 6:45 a.m.

That's looking great. 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
10/8/18 8:46 a.m.

So, can type up a bit more (ironically) since I've got time at work to do so.  Overall, the painting so far has gone well. I'm frankly quite impressed with how well the Rustoleum 2x paint covers and how good it looks- my wife come out to look at it after I spent all day prepping and painting Saturday and said that if she hadn't known I'd done it with a rattlecan she'd probably not have believed it.

The only real hiccup was that I had one can when I was starting the second coat that just DID NOT work right- I don't know where the problem was, but it was not spraying properly and ended up putting down essentially a rough texture instead of paint. The good thing was that I was spraying the center of the roof when I started that can- which is pretty much the one place that will get a lot of the silver that is going on next. After some light sanding with fine sandpaper it's down to pretty smooth so the silver should go on nicely and completely erase any signs of that problematic can (which I tossed very quickly).

The only really annoying thing is the dry/recoat time on the paint- you're supposed to wait 48 hours to recoat (or, presumably, put on a different color) so I wasn't able to do much of anything yesterday on it and will be scrambling to get the masking done for the silver and get the last of the paint on the truck tonight. It should be doable, but may be a kind of late night.

However, the non-directly-car-related things are coming together well. We now have both a tow vehicle and a tow dolly with which to drag the Rampage down to Florida, so that's good to have resolved.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
10/9/18 8:29 a.m.

*sigh*

Well, yesterday was a day. I suppose I shouldn't be as down about things as I am at the moment, but it's just VERY frustrating when things like this happen and I can't really do anything about it.

So I got home from work and immediately set about masking off to spray the silver accents on the truck. Some 5 hours later I was finally able to start shaking up paint cans and start spraying.

Almost immediately problems started showing up. It turns out that apparently the problem I encountered with the hood was not related (or not only related) to the clear coat, but was instead something else between the two colors- I don't know if it's something to do with the metallic or if this problem would happen when using any two different colors of this paint, or even if I were to spray more of the same color after letting it dry (even when following their recoat guidelines) if it would still manage to berkeley things up... but it did. And with so little time before the Challenge, I don't really have the time to devote to trying to fix it.

There are of course other spots, but those are some of the worst (the one in the panel in front of the windshield is by FAR the worst). I have no berking clue what causes it and why it happened in some places and not others. the only slight good thing is that at least it didn't really happen on the largest patches (the center stripe on the nose, roof, and tailgate), and that the rest of the teal should look fine and it's by far the majority of the paint on the truck.

We'll see how it looks overall once un-cocooned this afternoon. I can at least take solace in the fact that regardless it still will look WAY better than it did before I started- it's just very frustrating that after things went so well with the first color that this would have so much trouble.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
10/9/18 8:36 a.m.

Bummer.  I was worried about that, but didn’t know enough about paint to have any idea if my concerns were founded.  The valve cover racer is having paint issues, too, but not that severe.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
10/9/18 8:59 a.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

Yeah. It's very tempting for the spot in front of the windshield to say 'berk it' and try sanding it down and re-spraying it this afternoon and hoping the it works out better. The advantage there is a) it's a ways away from any tape so I won't mess that up and b) it's a location that I can leave the masking on while working on other things (I need to get inside to finish things on the interior, for example, but don't REALLY need to pull the masking off the windshield just yet...). The difficulty is I have no idea if things will work out better or not...

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
10/10/18 9:37 a.m.

Took a bit of time with some sandpaper and was able to mostly fix the worst spot in front of the windshield. It looks better, but took a lot of time so I didn't try the same with any other locations.

Overall, the paint looks pretty good. The spots where the paint 'wrinkled' from the silver are annoying, but don't stand out THAT much. I had to use some 2k grit sandpaper to take off some overspray where I didn't get the tape on as securely as I should have and still need to touch up a few places where the tape pulled off the new paint, but it still looks worlds better than it did.

sleepyhead
sleepyhead Dork
10/10/18 9:51 a.m.

I'm sure there are some required decals that you can put over those lower valence wrinkles?  or maybe just some more Grassroots Motorsports square decals?

crankwalk
crankwalk SuperDork
10/10/18 12:07 p.m.

Looks like the first coat was maybe still curing when the second color went on? Regardless, give it another day, sand and touch up. It still looks good!

 

I painted a car about the same color with Rustoleum exterior enamel with a little Japan Drier mixed in to cure a little faster. Used a cheap HF gun and the paint was almost a rubber coating resistant to paint chips like it was 97% dry for years. You could put a thumbnail in it and make an indention and then 10 minutes later it would ease back out.  Durable stuff and just as cheap as buying a bunch of cans.

 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
10/10/18 12:10 p.m.

In reply to crankwalk :

It shouldn't have been still curing, at least according to their instructions (recoat within an hour or after 48 hours- and it was over 48 hours since the last coat had gone on). If there's time I'll touch up the larger areas- there well may not be though with leaving for the Challenge first thing in the morning tomorrow. We'll likely bring along a can of each color and tape though to try if there's time.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
10/10/18 12:39 p.m.

Looks cool! It's probably at least as good as mine was last year where i literally spray painted one entire door with some "white enough" paint that i happened to have sitting in a cabinet. Mine looks like E36 M3 up close! 

Good luck! 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
10/11/18 10:49 a.m.

We got on the road way later than planned due to tow dolly strap issues, but are on our way... 

sleepyhead
sleepyhead Dork
10/11/18 11:29 a.m.

Good Luck!

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
10/11/18 12:31 p.m.

Awesome!  Looks great!  Best of luck to you and all the competitors.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
10/11/18 1:06 p.m.

damn dude, i think that looks sweet!

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
10/11/18 4:11 p.m.

Creeping closer to Gainesville.  We’re just now getting back on 75 from 285 in Atlanta.  See y’all late tonight

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
10/12/18 10:52 a.m.

Rampage all stickered up and in the grid after its first run. 

sleepyhead
sleepyhead Dork
10/12/18 10:55 a.m.

I keep mashing the thumbs up button, but it's not incrementing anymore sad

awesome job getting down there!

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
10/12/18 9:10 p.m.

Thanks everyone! After 2 morning course runs (one each by me and a pro, couldn’t make more because we spent most of the time diagnosing and fixing a severe electrical problem) and 3 afternoon runs- 2 by me and 1 by a pro (we decided that there wasn’t that much to be gained by spending a lot of time tweaking and left fairly early) the Rampage looks to be sitting in 29th place out of what appears to be 39 entries. Hopefully it will pick up a spot or two in the Concours judging, but at least it didn’t DNF and made solid runs on both courses. 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
10/15/18 9:33 a.m.

So, back from the Challenge with something resembling a decent night's rest- though unfortunately I had to be in at work today.

On the whole the weekend went well for us with the Rampage. It definitely had its moments, and at more than a few points seemed pointless for different reasons, but thankfully the overall response to the truck was very positive and a lot of people seemed to really enjoy seeing it there so that alone would have made the trip worth.

Things didn't start off the best for the trip down with us finding out at 11pm on Wednesday night that one of the two wheel straps that came with the tow dolly I had picked up to tow the Rampage down was broken- the two metal angles that attach to the dolly opposite the ratchet were broken off and I'd not noticed until we loaded the Rampage onto the dolly and couldn't get the strap to tighten down. So that meant that instead of getting onto the road at 4AM Thursday morning as planned we had to wait and run around at 7:30 when things started to open and try and find a replacement strap locally. Thankfully U-Haul had some (I halfway think that they weren't technically supposed to sell them, but they did anyway...) but they weren't quite the same kind- the U-Haul dollies & haulers have a bar that the straps slide over, so we had to get creative and slightly modify the dolly to be able to use it.

Then when we DID get on the road, shortly after getting on the highway eastsideTim noticed that the OTHER strap was just flapping freely. The ratchet on that side was old (the other side was almost new) and the spring that holds the lever arm of the ratchet that holds it tight was gone and in bouncing around the tension wasn't enough to hold it tight, so we have to again get creative with routing the strap and some zipties to ensure that the ratchet held the strap tight. Thankfully other than that and the late departure, the drive down wasn't too bad- we just got in a LOT later than we'd hoped to on Thursday.

Friday morning we got up and hauled the Rampage over to the track and got it switched over to the wiiide AX wheels. Somewhere around this point I realized that the neutral/park switch wasn't working in park, necessitating starting the truck in 'N' instead of park- annoying, but livable. LESS livable was that the switch I had put in to bypass the apparently broken ignition switch melted some internals while driving the Rampage over to tech. We eventually pushed it through tech (which it passed despite not running) and with some help we pushed it back to the pits and set about figuring out the problem. I was able to get the truck back running, but honestly wasn't certain of the exact cause of the problem- but by this point the morning AX was starting, so since the truck was running I took it out to make some runs. The first run went well enough (though was quite slow overall), but when I went to take it around again before handing it off to a pro driver about halfway through the course it just completely cut out and died and I had to coast it off the course into the staging area for the strip. Opening the hood I found that the wire I'd put in to get the thing running had outright melted, and burned the insulation off the wire it went to as well.

After being rescued by a golf cart that pushed the Rampage back to the other side of the track to the paddock, we set about figuring out just what the problem was. We eventually traced it down to there being one of the main ignition wires (the dark blue one, for those familiar with Turbo Dodge wiring) that ran to the computer had apparently gotten sandwiched between something and the frame and had rubbed through the insulation on the wire- meaning that when things moved just right the wire would short out to the frame putting essentially the whole of the power from the alt/battery through those wires, and it was just toasting the weakest links in the path it could take. After wrapping the offending wire in electrical tape and rigging up another patch to get it running, I quickly ran it out to the course- and found that they were shutting it down as I pulled up. Thankfully one of the pro drivers hopped in and got them to leave it open for him to get one run in, turning in a 5 second faster run than I had (unsurprisingly).

Overall, the afternoon went much better- I got two runs in myself very quickly, and was then able to get a pro driver to make a run in it (of course, solidly faster than mine) with myself riding along in the passenger seat. That was a LOT of fun. The driver gave me a few suggestions on what he thought might help with the times a bit- but after discussing it with eastsideTim we decided that from a realistic standpoint, we were only going to gain a second or two at best and that given the massive gap between our times and the number of Miatas and other tuned-to-the-max cone-carvers that it would ultimately not make much difference, so we packed up early and headed back to relax at the hotel for the evening, later stopping by Stampie's bar out in the parking lot to chat with some of the other competitors before turning in for the night.

Saturday started off just fine until we got to the track and went to unload the Rampage- somehow when pulling it off the tow dolly the lower front Shelby valance caught on a lip on the dolly and essentially ripped it most of the way off the truck. Thankfully it was held in by screws that we were able to put back into place such that the only evidence of the incident was the one side where the had been a crack had cracked the rest of the way through- meaning the effort I'd put in to Bondo over the crack and make it look good was wasted. We got the Rampage into position in the pavilion though and were able to get it looking pretty good- enough so that a number of people initially thought I'd painted it with a real paint gun and not a bit under 2 dozen cans of spray paint.

Everyone seemed to enjoy looking over the car and I had a good time talking with lots of people about it, though unfortunately nobody was that interested in buying it. Several people actually said that they were voting for the Rampage for Challenger's Choice, though I expected (correctly) that there was no chance it would win. The judging seemed to go well (and apparently did given I got a fairly decent score), and we had a good time looking around at all of the other cars that I at least really hadn't gotten to see much of the previous day with having to spend so much time trying to fix the electrical issue.

In the end, after the two AX courses we were in 29th, apparently were 14th in the concourse judging, ending up in 24th place overall in the competition- just off being in the top half of the competition. As far as overall placement, the Rampage actually did better last year- but that was not a real surprise given the truck is a decent autocrosser, but is clearly going to be a bit better at the drags than carving cones so the loss of the drags this year was a double-whammy on us... it meant that the truck wouldn't be in its better element AND people could (and did) bring cars that were clearly purely aimed at the autocross and it would not be detrimental to their overall score like it would be in a normal year.

I had a lot of fun regardless of where we finished- it's just a fact that I accept that I have not the time, money, skill, or space needed to build a truly competitive vehicle for the Challenge... I just go because it's fun and allows me an excuse to work on and bring something that I find interesting and fun. However, the odds are that I won't be back next year unless eastsideTim fields a car himself and I come along on his team- despite having a number of fun/bad ideas, none of them should happen until I've gotten all the work that the DMC needs taken care of, and that will pretty certainly take several years.

I didn't take many pictures unfortunately since I was busy, but hopefully eastsideTim will get me some of the ones that he took over the course of the weekend so I can share them.

VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce Dork
10/15/18 10:05 a.m.
Ashyukun (Robert) said:

I had a lot of fun regardless of where we finished- it's just a fact that I accept that I have not the time, money, skill, or space needed to build a truly competitive vehicle for the Challenge... I just go because it's fun and allows me an excuse to work on and bring something that I find interesting and fun.

So say we all....you've found the secret to Challenge happiness.  Your car looks great and you finished in a fantastic position by my standards. 

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
10/15/18 12:28 p.m.

about halfway through the course it just completely cut out and died and I had to coast it off the course into the staging area for the strip. 

Between the two of us we are starting to make this a tradition for Dodge Rampages at the GRM Challenge. 

A Rampage can actually be a very competent autocross car if it's modified in that direction. Mine was honestly about 100hp from being a legit fast autocross car. I think yours has more traction and less suspension but that can all be changed. At least yours is already turbo! 

Congrats on making it there and back with nothing lost but sleep!  

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