Halloween Stages Rally—D’oh!

The event was 95-percent paved. Here's part of that 5 percent.
Removing a Saab 99 engine takes about three hours.
It is not supposed to look like that.

We were about halfway through the event on Stage 4 when the engine came to a screeching halt.

It had to happen sometime. At this weekend’s Halloween Stages Rally at the ERS Fall Festival of Speed, we suffered our first DNF. We were about halfway through the event on Stage 4 when the engine came to a screeching halt, ending our day. This was too bad, as we were doing quite well—probably mid-pack in the small field. A superficial examination told us that something was wrong with the timing chain.

After we got the car back home, we took the valve cover off and saw that the sprocket on the idler shaft was broken. This meant the entire engine had to come out. Per’s dad, Pete, helped us take the engine out that afternoon. We knew we couldn’t get the car back to the event in time to continue, but we figured that the work had to get done sometime.

With the engine out, we could pinpoint the exact cause of our DNF: The idler shaft seized and broke the sprocket. Luckily, we have most of the parts needed to fix it in our spares pile. We should have it should be back together shortly.

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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
10/28/08 12:14 p.m.

Ouch! Have you figured out why the idler shaft seized? They should have no more than .005" thrust clearance. I've tossed these shafts for being out of spec.

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