MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
9/29/19 3:39 p.m.

Living in Gainesville the challenge has been very conveniently located for me. For many years I have brought my family out to the challenge for at least the Concours and sometimes for a bit of the drag racing. This year my son is 14yo and I have been talking to him about the possibility of building a car when he is 15. We got ahead of the curve and decided to start wrenching a bit early. Then things escalated when it looked like it might be good to get more family members involved and involve my kids, several nephews, and a niece. The plan is to keep it low key and poke at a car this year for a few weekends and see if we can make something run well enough to be involved in the event. If something doesn't come together I will still bring as many family members as want to come to observe some of the event and then get started on next year.  

The Cars we will be choosing from: 

Mark's MR2 from the garage sale. (The rusty one is a parts car).

 

The $2018 Parking lot build

 

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
9/29/19 3:55 p.m.

Parking lot build just needs the correct harness right?

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
9/29/19 4:33 p.m.

The first day involved taking our normal Sunday morning family gathering and asking a few of the kids if they liked the idea of cool fast cars and skipping school. Not surprisingly they all said yes. Then the older and younger ones got involved and we all went out to poke at the car. My father pointed out to my siblings that this was akin to offering their kids "just a little bit of heroin" but they were fine with the idea as well.

The car at my house right now is the Marks Garage Sale MR2 so it was the first victim. 

Mark bought the car as one of his many projects and spent some time thinking about what he wanted to do. He went all the way to the point of printing out multiple articles and jotting down some ideas about the direction of the build and then parked it. It was many years later before I pulled the collapsed shelter off of it, dug it out, threw some dodge steelies on it, and dragged it onto my trailer. Then when I got it home I couldn't resist seeing if it would run. I threw a battery on it, cranked it, and it came to life with a LOUD high idle and really stinky smokey exhaust. I goosed it a few times and then pinned the throttle to the floor-where it stayed. The car spun out the tach with glorious non-neighborhood friendly noises while I quickly killed it with the key. After that I couldn't get it to start again and ended up pushing it to where it sat until last night. 

Today started with me giving the army of kids the basics of cars needing air, fuel, and spark and proceeded to chase fuel. I knew it had run but the gas was really really old and smelly so I assumed we would need to pull the tank and clean it out but I wanted to show them some life and loud noises so we proceeded to take 2 cars worth of 8-17 year olds to the gas station to fill the gas can and parts store for some starter fluid. 

Unfortunately the starter fluid did nothing. We added a couple gallons of gas because the tank sounded empty. Using a better battery to crank faster didn't help. Around then we lost the crowd and it settled into me and my son. We verified spark. Then I decided to check fuel pressure and pulled the return line which just barely oozed fluid. Then we pulled the fuel filter that was installed backwards and checked the flow and got great flow straight from the tank. We decided to empty most of the tank using the fuel pump and the fuel filter feed line (apparently this year MR2 didn't have a drain plug in the tank).  That's when things got amusing.

The car has an industrial looking aluminum scoop on the side that feeds a dryer tube to a curved attachment to the MAF.

I pulled the dryer line from the scoop to the MAF early on to be able to squirt starter fluid in past the MAF and also to be able to use the MAF door to trigger the fuel pump. Somewhere along the way I moved the tube and noticed the acorn residue in the creases: 

It dawned on me at that time that acorn residue was probably not great for an engine and I even gave my son a lecture on air filters being great at keeping rodents from filling your engine with acorn parts but I got distracted and kept chasing draining the tank. After draining the tank we were talking and my brain started pondering what damage acorn residue could do to and engine and whether TVIS worked in a way that it could get stuck on small bits of shell so I pulled the MAF to take a look. surprise

Opening the throttle plate reveals no trace of nuts so apparently in they went. sad

Lol-I have given the air, fuel, spark talk many times but never once had air be an issue. Apparently pegging the tach with a stuck throttle sucked the intake tube clean and now I have some sort of mouse nest acorn pile embedded in my intake. Next step is to pull the intake and see what damage was done. It will be a new experience for all of us. laugh

 

Later this week I bring the PLB MR2 home and see if maybe thats a better path.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
9/29/19 4:33 p.m.
Stampie said:

Parking lot build just needs the correct harness right?

Not sure-Megasquirt is more fun.

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/29/19 8:40 p.m.

I vote for the parking lot build, as I would like to see it run. I don't know why you would replace that finely crafted custom wiring harness, lol. I would agree that MS might be an easier/ more fun solution.  I think you need to keep the through the sunroof kill switch. Good luck, look forward to seeing you and the family at the challenge.

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
9/29/19 8:45 p.m.

Agree, just go straight to MS. The "right" wiring harness was still going to need some modification to match up with the pre-87 configuration, and now there is a total jambalaya of accessories installed so might as well just start from a clean slate.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
9/29/19 8:53 p.m.

This makes me really happy! smiley

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
9/29/19 9:15 p.m.
SVreX said:

This makes me really happy! smiley

Me too. smiley

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/6/19 1:02 p.m.

A quick vacuum of the intake to try to remove any errant acorn shells.

 

MGS MR2 Runs!

 

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/6/19 1:08 p.m.

MGS car has frozen calipers all the way around and a bent suspension arm in the right rear. Probably needs cleaned injectors as well. That and installation of stickies and the shocks that came with the car and she is probably challengeable. 

PLB car came home Thursday night as well. Having a buddy who is a MS guy with a nice turbo MK1 MR2 come over and discuss selling me his old MS and helping me with an install. He's busy and I'm busy so I'm not hopeful about that timeline. If any megasquirt savvy people are coming to the challenge it might be PLB round 2 for that car.

 

Had my son and 2 of his nephews helping today. It's slow going at times for them when there's not a ton for them to do but it's really cool that they want to help. Looks like I'm amassing a group that wants to come observe on Friday.  smiley

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/6/19 8:45 p.m.

Big RockAuto order tonight. Brakes, fuel injectors, fuel filter, cap/wires/rotor, etc. All cheap individually, together-surprise. Kicking myself for not remembering there is always a coupon somewhere. May need to make a phone call in the morning.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/6/19 9:42 p.m.

Just noticed these looking at the pic-anyone have any idea what those numbers are taped to the inside of my engine lid?

JamesMcD
JamesMcD SuperDork
10/10/19 5:55 p.m.

This is so awesome. A few months ago I misread a post relating to the PLB and was under the false impression it had been towed to a scrap yard in disgust. I'm so happy to see someone having another go at it. It really did start and run good on the way to my house and I felt terrible that the tank turned out to be full of nasty stuff - I honestly had no idea. 

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/10/19 6:17 p.m.

Lol-At least it didn't have an intake full of acorns. PLB will definitely live on. It is too pretty to scrap.

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/11/19 8:54 a.m.
JamesMcD said:

This is so awesome. A few months ago I misread a post relating to the PLB and was under the false impression it had been towed to a scrap yard in disgust. I'm so happy to see someone having another go at it. It really did start and run good on the way to my house and I felt terrible that the tank turned out to be full of nasty stuff - I honestly had no idea. 

Ahhhh! So sorry you got that impression. I think there was lots of challenges to overcome, but that only made it more fun for us involved. I think everyone came away from the PLB project having enjoyed themselves even if the end result wasn't a gold medal.

And im not sure about the gas in the tank, but I do know the fuel pump was inop, so whatever gas was in there wasn't coming out. Haha.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/26/19 7:49 a.m.

Alright-quick catch up to today:

Decided to go with the Marks Garage Sale Blue MR2.

Spent a few days in the last few weeks replacing Brake rotors, calipers, Master, and pads and pumping brakes. Then sicked the minions on cleaning the interior and exterior.

Underneath all those years of cobwebs and dust is decent upholstery and paint.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/26/19 7:54 a.m.

Threw some Daisies on it and took it around the block.

OK-It's LOUD! Not an easy car to test ability to accelerate in a residential area. Problem is it doesn't like to be loaded at all below 4k RPM, plus the steering wheel is 90 degrees off, plus the brakes have a bit of nothing in the first 1/2 inch of travel, plus it doesn't want to idle. Doubtful on having a car running well enough to challenge at this point. sad

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/26/19 8:10 a.m.

So I spent my few free moments at this point doing plugs, wires, cap, rotor, fuel filter and injectors, and bleeding and bleeding and bleeding the brakes. It maybe ran a bit better but the brakes still had the 1/2 inch of nothing.

This brings us to Thursday-Registration day.

Decided I needed to make it at least drive straight. We are blessed with a guy who has a shop that only does alignments. He does them quickly, well, to your spec, and reasonably priced. No appointment either so last minute is fine. Best thing: no funky names to remember. The Alignment Guy

 

Fun thing-the guy under the lift was the next customer in line. He makes 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder swap mounts for Fieros and has been around cars forever. We talked everything from berkelys to 240Z's to Tatas (the cars angel). He kept apologizing for going on too much but it was truly an enjoyable conversation. 

Grady The Alignment Guy was a little worried that things might "break loose" instead of loosen but everything came apart reasonably well. There is a little bow in one of the rear suspension rods but it had been adjusted out at some prior point. He did point out the non factory welds on the rear version of tie rods.

After the alignment I took advantage of the industrial park location and took it for a spin. If I kept the RPMS up it accelerated reasonably well, it stopped great, and it cornered like it should. I even picked up a tail when a kid in a new turbo 4 camaro started chasing me around because he thought it was fun. smiley

Challenge confidence was much improved at this point.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/26/19 8:23 a.m.

Out of order but some of the amusing stuff I found and corrected along the way:

Removed the "out the door and along the rail" wiring for the AFR meter.

 

Removed the "4 wheel brake sprayer" system.

 

 

Then I loosened up the custom lowering setup in the front (two long bolts from top to bottom spring perch).

jfryjfry
jfryjfry Dork
10/26/19 9:58 a.m.

That lowering system is a mess, isn’t it?  Unless I’m missing something it has got to be noisy and not kind to the car

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/26/19 4:29 p.m.
jfryjfry said:

That lowering system is a mess, isn’t it?  Unless I’m missing something it has got to be noisy and not kind to the car

If you look at the pic you can see the clean part of the shaft indicating how much it was cinched down. With that much preload I'm not sure it moved enough to bang around. After loosening it up It was at almost full droop so I'm not sure I got into that part of the travel much. I didn't get a chance to see if the threads were filing out the sides of the holes yet.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/26/19 5:26 p.m.

So at the track there were a few hiccups. First there was a pinched o-ring that made a giant fuel leak that showed itself right as I tried to tech. Fortunately my wife was on the way and grabbed the old injectors and I was able to pirate an O-ring from those. Through tech and off to the pro-grid. 

The format called for 3 pro runs max. I grabbed Danny Shields and planned to have me in the passenger seat for 2 runs and my 18 year old nephew in the passenger seat for 1. Then I was going to take a run with my nephew in the seat and switch places for the next 2.

Danny Shields took it for a few runs in the Autocross with me in the passenger seat. First run was plagued by a bog on the start where the car just hooked off of the start and a serious bog on a slow corner where it would have been happier in first. Lucky for us there was an errant cone placement late in the course and it merited a re-run. Run two/first official, was much better. The car bogged less off of the line and he got it in first for the slow corner. Still a fair amount of unhappiness on the slow bits but it put a time in the books pretty far down the list (62 seconds IIRC). Third run/second official, was a better launch but difficulty getting the car in first while standing it on its nose on the way into a corner and difficulty getting into second while in the midst of another corner cost some time. The car also IIRC that one was in the low 61's range. At that point we stopped the car to switch passengers and the car wouldn't restart.

A few competitors pointed out the likelyhood of coil issues and we tested spark with really poor results.We pushed it back to the pits to repair. A loose coil terminal wire fixed and a jump and the car ran again. 

At this point we put my nephew in the car and had him drive up and down pit road to familiarize himself with driving a cantankerous manual transmission car. When he got about 50' away he goosed the throttle and the car fishtailed massively. He turned it around and goosed it again with the same result. Knowing that 100 ft/lbs of 1600cc fury wasn't enough to break the tires loose at will meant something was wrong.

I'm just glad it broke in the pits.

Definitely not a factory adjustment sleeve. 

 

Plus side-Rear Steering!

 

I thought about running home and wrestling parts off of the much rustier parts car and instead decided to call it a day. I got my nephew a ride along with Jeremy in his jellybean gastropod and spent the rest of the day spectating with my family and good friends. Watching the Nelsons best a $100k Hellcat was a pretty nice way to spend an evening.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/26/19 5:44 p.m.

Staged the car in concours, took my 12 points and planned to spend most of my time wandering around with family listening and telling stories. 

While standing by the car I get a pat on the back and Danny and Patrick are standing there with this: 

 

Apparently Mark picked a personal favorite car every year and gave the team this trophy. This year I was fortunate enough that people close to him thought we were worthy.  I truly am honored. 

On the topic of Mark, it has been humbling and amusing to see how many hours he put into this car before even turning a wrench on it. There was a planning folder in the passenger seat under the layers of spider webs, dust, and NOS shocks.

 

Pages and pages of printouts of MR2 build threads,  copies of factory manuals, and receipts all with hand jotted notes. Apparently beer was a factor in the budget as the outside of the folder and the interesting beer math on the receipts envelope point out. 

 

Mark had grand plans for this thing and hopefully we can honor him by making it more competitive in the future.

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
10/27/19 12:16 a.m.

Tod likely presented you the trophy, I was just standing behind he and danny after agreeing with them that you were the correct recipient of Mark's Choice.

Mark meant a lot to me, even though I only knew him for 5 years, and I'm excited to see you take some of his ideas and run with them and see where they lead you.  

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/27/19 7:28 a.m.

Thank you for the correction Patrick. I am honestly horrible with names. I realized my error during the banquet when Tod was mentioned. Tod-now I want to thank you using the proper name. I truly am honored.

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