Jan 31, 2020 update to the Volkswagen Fox project car

Project VW Fox: We’re Racing at Barber!

After buying a used race car, painting it, installing safety gear, swapping the engine and checking our work at a test day, the big day has finally arrived! We're racing with The 24 Hours of Lemons at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend! We'll be posting live updates below throughout the race, so follow along as we try to take our Fox to the winner's circle.

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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/1/20 12:41 a.m.

Ok, I guess I should explain the giant wings. We visited Nine Lives Racing on our way to the track to finish up a few things on the car, and while discussing themes for the car (strongly encouraged at Lemons) we just couldn't shake the idea of slapping giant wings all over it. So, well, we did, fashioning the car's aero package from blemished scraps around the shop.

Does the aero make the car faster? Well, so far the answer is yes, since we were put in class C (the slowest class) with zero penalty laps. The car is getting tons of positive attention in the paddock, too, so the wings are so far a success. We'll try removing them to see if the car is faster on track with or without them, but we have a pretty good hunch the front one will drop lap times. The rear wings are in super dirty air, and really just for show.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/1/20 12:43 a.m.

So far so good! The race starts in the morning, but the car has passed tech and should be ready to go. We'll check back in tomorrow. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/1/20 8:18 a.m.

Driver's meeting in 15 min! It's almost time! 

stroker
stroker UltraDork
2/1/20 8:30 a.m.

You could have called it "The Triplane" and done a WWI motif with it...

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/1/20 8:49 a.m.

Final pre-race prep happening on the car! 

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/1/20 9:23 a.m.

Tom is starting the race. Tire pressure is at 28 psi. 
 

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UberDork
2/1/20 9:27 a.m.

Wheels torqued?

 

Good luck!

 

Starting first lap in p25.

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/1/20 9:44 a.m.

Track is green! 
 

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
2/1/20 9:59 a.m.
stroker said:

You could have called it "The Triplane" and done a WWI motif with it...

Der Drei Fuchse!

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
2/1/20 10:00 a.m.

In reply to ChrisTropea :

Wings must be AWESOME with the rain!!!!  

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/1/20 10:30 a.m.

Our fuel pump was having issues, luckily we have a spare so we are swapping it in. 

 

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UberDork
2/1/20 10:59 a.m.

I was wondering what happened.

 

Get it fixed and get back out there!

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/1/20 12:35 p.m.

Our spare pump was broken but after a trip to the parts store we have an in-line pump and we are headed back on track. 

slowbird
slowbird Dork
2/1/20 12:43 p.m.

How much does the wing impact visibility? (Look over the steering wheel, under the wing...or under the steering wheel, over the wing?) cheeky

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/1/20 1:40 p.m.

In reply to slowbird : "Its only bad on steep uphills" -Tom

 

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/1/20 1:42 p.m.

The Fox is doing good after the fuel fix. Johnny took the second stint and now Jesse is behind the wheel after our firs pit stop. 

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/1/20 3:52 p.m.

Blane was in the car for stint number 3 and Miles is in for the final stint for today.
 

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/1/20 4:38 p.m.

Well the car just broke on the backstretch. We are waiting on the car to get towed back to our paddock. It appears to be driveline issues . 

NickD
NickD PowerDork
2/1/20 4:40 p.m.

Chris Rado called, he wants his fwing back.

What happened to Chris Rado?

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/1/20 4:56 p.m.

Here is the damage, we have a failed wheel bearing that caused some other damage. We are working to figure out what our next step will be.

 

 

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/1/20 5:01 p.m.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/1/20 6:12 p.m.

Update: Just picked up a spare bearing from the parts store, and we already have a spare axle. Nobody at the track had a hydraulic press, so we're grabbing one of those at Harbor Freight, too. If all goes according to plan we'll be back on track in the morning!

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/1/20 6:16 p.m.

So, driving impressions... IT'S FAST (for a class C car). Our best lap so far is a 2:03, and we can literally pass every car in the field in the corners. On the straights? Yeah, it's dog slow. The front wing definitely works, any of the faster corners it's like a freight train. 
 

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/1/20 6:20 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Go, Dog. Go!

 

buzzboy
buzzboy HalfDork
2/1/20 7:40 p.m.

2:03 is pretty quick for a Lemon at Barber. I love that track. The wings look amazing! Wish I was there.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
2/1/20 9:15 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:

So, driving impressions... IT'S FAST (for a class C car). Our best lap so far is a 2:03, and we can literally pass every car in the field in the corners. On the straights? Yeah, it's dog slow. The front wing definitely works, any of the faster corners it's like a freight train. 
 

 

Chinese turbo?  How many penalty laps would they give you for that?

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/1/20 9:34 p.m.

Let the work begin! 
 

Stampie
Stampie UltimaDork
2/1/20 9:39 p.m.

In reply to ChrisTropea :

I see four men putting together something that will involve massive forces and true to stereotype none of them are reading the instructions. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/1/20 11:53 p.m.

Update: It's fixed! The hub is pretty torn up (not by us, by the car's previous stewards as far as we can tell), but we'll keep an eye on the axle nut and see if we can get some more laps in tomorrow. Time for bed!

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
2/2/20 1:44 a.m.

so, I realize this is LeMons... and there's all manner of 'ornament' attached to the cars... butt, is there any thought to having limit straps of some kind so the fwing won't go interacting with soft smooshable entities?

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/2/20 9:17 a.m.

After working on the car last night to get it fixed to race today we have decided that we are done racing for the weekend. While we were reassembling everything we saw excessive wear on the hub making the wheel bearing fit loosely and we know that it is ultimately going to fail again if we continue running it. Overall we had a fun weekend and all of our drivers got a chance to get seat time in the car. Now it's time to pack up the trailer and head home to plan what is next for our Volkswagen Fox. 

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/2/20 2:20 p.m.

Since we are not racing today we took a trip over to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum to check it out. 

LopRacer
LopRacer Dork
2/3/20 11:21 a.m.
NickD said:

Chris Rado called, he wants his fwing back.

What happened to Chris Rado?

 

I had the same thought and with a little google sleuth I see Chris retired from racing in 2012. He has since stayed busy building parts for Higher end cars and SUV's from what I gather. The FWD time attack car was for sale last year on Ebay sans powertrain.

Honsch
Honsch New Reader
2/3/20 1:25 p.m.

As a fellow Fox racer, properly torquing the front wheel hubs is something to do before every race day.

The stupid lock nuts don't and they back off all the time.  We properly torque, red loctite, and double nut them and they still back off. 
If you over-torque them, the stub shaft snaps off the end of the CV.

Check them often.

What alignment specs are you using up front?  We get best results with around 3.5 degrees negative camber and a touch of toe out.

 

 

Until your engine bay looks like this, you're not done.

 

 

bluetoes591
bluetoes591
2/3/20 3:15 p.m.

Err.... you list the country of origin for this car as Germany. Check your VIN, you'll find its starts with 9BW. Like all Foxes it was made in Brazil. And like all Foxes it is based on the Gol/Voyage/Parati/Saveiro family, which while loosely based on the Audi 4000, was designed by VW do Brasil for the South American market.

einy
einy HalfDork
2/3/20 5:01 p.m.
ChrisTropea said:

Blane was in the car for stint number 3 and Miles is in for the final stint for today.
 

What in the world are the three animals (apparently) running in the background ?!?  Buffalo ?

buzzboy
buzzboy HalfDork
2/3/20 5:41 p.m.

Barber has huge statues all around the track. There's a giant spider, a lion and plenty others. 

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
2/4/20 5:33 a.m.

looks like they're tigers...

noddaz
noddaz SuperDork
2/8/20 8:00 a.m.

Since you have a Jetta engine in it, next are you going to use the Jetta transmission and make it transverse?

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