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Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
4/18/21 10:48 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

I dig the Mordor vibes you've got going on with the red and black. 
 

seriously, looks good!

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/18/21 1:30 p.m.

lol, the rally car or the skidplate?

rally car started black and white, and then a photographer said he took more pictures of colorful cars, so I added a bunch of "safety blue" leftover from our track e30. The blue didn't do it for me, and then a buddy gave me a dozen rattle-cans of dark red leftover from a project....so now I'm all about the dark red lol. 

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
4/18/21 5:54 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Oops, sorry. The skid plate. The E-30 is cool no matter what color it is.

Justjim75
Justjim75 SuperDork
4/19/21 6:14 p.m.

Have you looked into whatever the electric bolt/nut heater is thats supposed to be miraculous with stubborn fasteners? 

And if you want, I can be on the lookout for not rusty Sequoia stuff in salt free Alabama

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/19/21 6:16 p.m.

In reply to Justjim75 :

I have a Bolt Buster.  It's okay but oxyacetylene/oxypropane works better.

The inductive heater is great for when you are working inside a nest of wires and hoses, or are trying to get the forward exhaust manifold off of a DOHC transverse V6 and can't even see the manifold nuts without a mirror.

 

IOW, it isn't good to be the only tool at your disposal, but it makes for a nice option under the right circumstances.

EvanB
EvanB GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/19/21 6:39 p.m.

I like my bolt buster and it has come in handy a few times. I don't have any torches though so i can't compare to that. Well, I have a torch setup but no tanks yet.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/19/21 7:10 p.m.
Justjim75 said:

Have you looked into whatever the electric bolt/nut heater is thats supposed to be miraculous with stubborn fasteners? 

And if you want, I can be on the lookout for not rusty Sequoia stuff in salt free Alabama

I did look, but not looking to spend $400 on a bolt heater that I really woudln't use much.

Plenty 0f Sequoias around here, really. In this well-to-do area (DC) they were bought up by upper-class soccer moms 15 years ago for $50k and are all over marketplace for $5-10k not rusty (but usually with high miles). 

Mine came from NJ and lived at the shore (yeah, Jersey Shore) and the frame was heavily...er..."disguised" by the seller with fresh paint and undercoat, and I didn't look nearly as closely at it as I should have when I bought it, frankly. Lesson learned. 

So far I've managed to get 5 of the 8 header bolts off on the driver's side at a couple attempts. The other 3 are the harder-to-access ones that require motor mount removal to really get them. I expect I'll be able to break them free with or without oxy. Right now I'm dealing with the rust areas, then will get back to the headers. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/19/21 8:33 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

All really useful tools are ones you don't use all the time, but when you need them, you NEED them, you know?

I paid $320 on Amazon.  That's about what my welder rig cost.

The key with it is to never use it for more than 30 seconds at a time.  That's ususally enough to get a nut head starting to go incandescent.  Resist the urge to keep going.  Wait 30 seconds for the tool to cool off, then go another 30 seconds with the tool.  It'll be bright orange then.  If you keep cranking on the tool without a 50% duty cycle like that, you damage it.

 

There's also an inductive mat, that I have not tried yet, for removing decals.  Can't wait to try it.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/19/21 10:27 p.m.

yeah, I expect I can get the rest of these off with a regular propane torch. The ones so far I've just brute-forced. Hopefully the Toyota OEM studs are stronger than other rusty stuff on this truck lol. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/20/21 9:41 p.m.

So today I jumped in the Porsche and headed out about 50 miles into the countryside where Jeff Symanski (who rallycrosses a rare 323GTX with us) owns a machine shop.

Jeff's shop does a ton of work for a local Land Rover restoration shop and there was a absolutely mint Defender 90 up on the lift when I got there, getting a bunch of custom things done for an engine swap. I doubt this D90 looked this good when it came off the factory floor in England, frankly..

Jeff also has a good collection of militay surplus trucks that he fixes up on the side, including this one that he's building into an expedition rig at some point

Out in the lot is a short-body Unimog, pretty rare to see around here and in really nice condition

so many shifters...

So funny side story....as we're standing there, a customer drives up in a vintage Jeep tin-side wagon.  Apparently, this guy also owns the Unimog, but wanted to get a small piece fixed on this Jeep (a fitting for a leaking fuel line into the carb).

The guy introduced himself to me (name was Richard) and he initially reminded me of Jay Leno (see pic above). Anyhow we all stood around chatting for 15-20 minutes about various vehicles and somehow there was a mention that I was taking a day off work "from the Pentagon" (I work for the Navy). I mentioned that I had recently briefed a certain Pentagon bigwig last week and the conversation turned as the guy rattled off a few names of various Secretaries of This and Undersecretaries of That (all of which I have met/briefed in the past few years) and there was some casual commentary on a few of them. Clearly he had been an insider, though when I asked, he said he had been in the Marines. Hmm.  Jeff had an amused look on his face during much of this conversation. 

After the guy left, Jeff was like "so,......you know who that was?" with a smile on his face. Answer: Richard Spencer, Secretary of the Navy for about 3 years 2017-2019. So, kind of funny since I sat at the guy's desk and talked to him in the Pentagon back in 2018 or so. Didn't recognize him at all in jeans, hat, t-shirt, and shaggy hair (nor would I have any expectation to run into such a person out in the country boondocks far from DC, so didn't even think about it).  So anyhow, that was pretty funny. Just another of the random things that happens in the car community. 

In the end, an enjoyable day, including some good country driving in the Porsche. Oh, and I picked up this from Jeff's metal stash - a foot-long piece of 3/16" steel tube with a 3.5" OD (not something you can really just "order" in that size for less than like $100....), which should be perfect to repair the rusted-out section of the Sequoia's frame crossmember, which is also 3.5" OD (though probably more like 1/8"). So, may try to tackle that tomorrow...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/21/21 2:17 p.m.

Spent this morning under the tow pig doing my best to fix that crossmember

First did a bit more cutting to basically square the opening (I left the upper 1/3rd of the original crossmember that still seemed to be pretty good metal)

Then busted out the plasma cutter and cut the aforementioned pipe into the right size to fit the cutout

I'll mention here that the plasma cutter is awesome. IDK how I did stuff all these years without one. CUtting this 3/16" steel pipe only took a couple minutes vs. probably 10x that time doing it with a saw or cutoff wheel/grinder. So pretty pleased with that. 

Then did some test-fitting and adjustments, and tacked it up into place, then welded as much as I could. It's VERY hard to get access to this area, especially with a welding helmet on. I'll note that the gas tank is right next to this, and the fuel filler hose runs right over it, so I was pretty careful using a welding blanket with my extinguisher nearby. I also skipped welding up one section because it was just too close for comfort to fuel stuff. That said I think this will be plenty strong, and far, far stronger than the rusted-out crap I cut out. Still had a bit of blow-through since the OEM steel is thinner than the patch piece, and it was really hard to get any good angles. But whatever, good enough.

Then painted it all with some POR-15 and called it a day

One less thing to worry about. 

 

 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/24/21 6:51 p.m.

DC RallyCross 2021 season opener - Summit Point

After a couple rainouts, we finally got a dry day to start the 2021 DC RallyCross season, once again at Summit Point

Weather was nice, the 18-car MR class was sure to be a shootout, with all the usual cast of characters, including five previous season champions (myself included) and other fast-movers that may be future season champions. Nick in the M3, Stevie and Chris in their e30 (with some improvements from last year), Neil and Eric in their newly-rebuilt e30 (my old red shell), a couple of MR2s, Nonack in the BRZ, a few Miatas, and another e30 running tarmac rally tires, which we've been thinking for a while may be pretty fast on Summit's hard-packed clay (and they were). Josh S co-drove with me, as his Duratec-e30 swap project is stilll a little ways from completion. 


 

Since I'm mildly annoyed at my driving, this will be a short-ish recap: Basically, I started off in the top-3 on the first run, and basically fell continuously throughout the day, ultimately finishing 6th. It's not that I drove bad (I thought I drove reasonably well), it's just that quite a few competitors simply drove faster - especially Nick, Stephen, and Chris. Josh S. finished considerably below me due to a lot of cones, but it's not his car so at least he has an excuse. We also used some of Josh's old black rocket tires, which I figured would do fine on the summit hardpack, but maybe they weren't all that great...IDK, hard to blame it on the tires today.

All in all, I thought my driving was decent enough that a 6th place finish is a bit depressing - because it's becoming pretty clear this car probably past the threshhold of being regularly competitive in a region like this, in spite of pretty good power from the M50 (though several cars have similar or more), a good suspension (though most of the fast cars are now on gravel suspension), etc. In the end, the car is just getting too heavy - I'd guesstimate that Stevie's e30 is probably a good 300lbs lighter than mine, and he's always been a great driver. Nick's e36 M3 is even porkier, but he won a championship driving an old e28, so we already know he can drive. 

In truth, the "answer" would be to just built an ultra-lightweight car to do rallycross in, without the cage, heavy underbody armor, fire system, and all the other crap making this thing heavy (this car stock was about 2300lbs with the M10, now I'm pushing 2850.....). But, not gonna do that because I have no use for another project e30, frankly and would rather spend my money on stage rally entries. So, I'm going to need to figure out how the hell to make this car better and to make my driving better.

I'll admit, I'm lazy and pretty much leave the car in full stage trim for rallycross (other than tools and spare tire). For next weekend's doubleheader I may see how much "temporary" weight I can drop off the car, just to see if it makes it a bit more competitive:

1. I have a sheet of aluminum that I can use to sub for my heavy steel skidplate and save 20 lbs or so right on the nose of the car

2. I could unbolt and remove the underbody sheeting, which weights about 10-15lbs and really isn't necessary at all in rallycross. 

3. I could remove the fire system tank and the two fire extinguishers (probably 20-30 lbs altogether)

4. I *could* remove the passenger seat, though I probably won't since I'm likely to have a codriver again next weekend. 

5. I could be smarter and not show up with a full tank of fuel (which was sloshing out of the gas cap due to a torn cap seal today, incidentally).

6. There's about 15-20lbs of other incidental stuff in the car that coule come out without too much trouble. 

So, could probably drop 50-75lbs without TOO much effort. remains to be seen if I'll be motivated to do that, lol.  I'm guessing "not" but who knows. 

Also, we used the ugliest possible wheels today. I really hate these 5-spoke Mini wheels. 

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
4/25/21 6:58 a.m.

E30s: we don't care how your hood opens, as long as it opens wrong.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/25/21 7:29 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

After having a Subaru and a VW rear hinged hood flip open at 65mph, you have a strange way of spelling "right".

 

(The Subaru hood was so flimsy, it looked like Elmer Fudd's shotgun after it was smashed over his head, and was easily fixed with an adrenaline-fueled punch.  It was 2am and a real awakening experience.  The VW's hood weighed like 50lb like Mercedes built it, and broke the windshield AND caved the roof in)

 

Byrneon27
Byrneon27 Reader
4/25/21 12:57 p.m.

There's a Hyundai hood out back with a surprisingly good impression of my left arm and face on it... Here's a reminder friends if you don't have a windshield frame definitely definitely make sure the hood pins are in. 

 

On the miniductor front if you like you're welcome to borrow mine they're far from magic but get the job done where you cant use a torch. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/25/21 4:21 p.m.
Byrneon27 said:

There's a Hyundai hood out back with a surprisingly good impression of my left arm and face on it... Here's a reminder friends if you don't have a windshield frame definitely definitely make sure the hood pins are in. 

 

On the miniductor front if you like you're welcome to borrow mine they're far from magic but get the job done where you cant use a torch. 

I'm going to give the Sequoia a go again in a couple weeks when I have time. If I fail again and getting it done I will definitely go to higher measures haha

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/25/21 8:05 p.m.

So since last season the car has had a flickering oil pressure light when fully hot (like after a rallycross run or between rally stages), which is basically when the idle RPMs dip (especially when the aux fan kicks in). It used to be only very occasional, but seems to do it pretty regularly now - a light press on the gas pedal to get RPMs up makes it go away, but the car is clearly idling too low. On the M50, screwing out the throttle body set screw actually doesn't accomplish anything other than hanging revs, which is also annoying. 

So, decided to start rooting around for the problem. My guess was a sticky IACV, so today I wrangled my way under the intake manifold and removed the IACV (it's a pain in the ass on the M50, since it's tucked away underneath and you basically have to do it blind/by feel while diconnecting the two hoses and the electrical plug).

In any case, got it out

And sure enough, the IACV didn't easily click open and shut when you shake it. So cleaned it out real good with some MAF cleaner and now it opens and shuts easily, so that should improve something (whether it's my idle problem or not remains to be seen). While in there, noticed the plastic clip for one of the hoses from the IACV to the IM was broken. Well, I didn't really notice it, I already knew it was broken and had secured the hose end using a ziptie, which seemed to work. But figured I'd order a new one for 5 bucks, so waiting for that to come in before I put this all back together and see if it did anything. While I'm at it, I'm also replacing the throttle body-to-IM gasket, which I may or may not have replaced when I freshened up this engine. It's easy enough to do and will ensure there's no vac leak there. 

We have a doubleheader rallycross next weekend, and Josh S. will be co-driving with me on Saturday again. I know I said I was going to "lightweight" things, but (shockingly) I'm not going to. There's a full rallysprint up at Rausch Creek the weekend after so I'd just have to put it all back on anyhow. I'm just gonna run the car as what it is (a stage rally car) and do as well as I can in it at rallycross, even if that means finishing behind the other fast guys. Or maybe I'll just drive better and be more competitive. Stranger things have happened. 

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
4/26/21 12:09 p.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

So since last season the car has had a flickering oil pressure light when fully hot (like after a rallycross run or between rally stages), which is basically when the idle RPMs dip (especially when the aux fan kicks in). It used to be only very occasional, but seems to do it pretty regularly now - a light press on the gas pedal to get RPMs up makes it go away, but the car is clearly idling too low. On the M50, screwing out the throttle body set screw actually doesn't accomplish anything other than hanging revs, which is also annoying.

I "fixed" my low oil pressure light by installing a new OEM sender.  Might be worth a shot.  Hasn't come on once since then.  Do you have an oil pressure gauge?

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/26/21 3:55 p.m.
95maxrider said:
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

So since last season the car has had a flickering oil pressure light when fully hot (like after a rallycross run or between rally stages), which is basically when the idle RPMs dip (especially when the aux fan kicks in). It used to be only very occasional, but seems to do it pretty regularly now - a light press on the gas pedal to get RPMs up makes it go away, but the car is clearly idling too low. On the M50, screwing out the throttle body set screw actually doesn't accomplish anything other than hanging revs, which is also annoying.

I "fixed" my low oil pressure light by installing a new OEM sender.  Might be worth a shot.  Hasn't come on once since then.  Do you have an oil pressure gauge?

Yeah I have a very precise gauge (like the one you just changed to lol). But at idle with the fan on and hot my idle drops down to like 550 RPM, which is definitely too low to maintain sufficient oil pressure when the oil is hot. It was more of an issue last weekend since Josh and I were hot lapping, It usually flickers less when it's just me and the car has time to cool off. The sensor in there is less than a year old so I don't really think that's the issue.

When the electric fan kicks in the idle stumbles in the car almost feel like it's going to stall before jumping back up. 

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/26/21 9:58 p.m.

My anxiety did NOT like that red flicker one bit. Had me thinking about the low idle as well. Was the iacv clogged up in a way that it would have blocked the airflow, vs sticking so it let's more in?  

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/27/21 3:27 p.m.

In reply to bluej (Forum Supporter) :

Tough to say but I definitely don't like that light flickering either lol.

I didn't really look to see whether it was a sticking in a more closed position or more open position. But generally speaking if the idol is low it means it's not opening all the way due to too much gunk. I should know by tomorrow

 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/28/21 7:50 p.m.

The rest of my parts came in and I quickly got them back on the rally car with the cleaned IACV. At least sitting up on the trailer, it seems to idle much higher now, as it should, so we'll see if it holds the higher idle once we get some hot runs in next weekend. In any case, one less things. 

Then, finally bit the bullet and spent 4 hours doing the driver's side header on the Sequioa. First had to take off the motor mount, which was a task of its own with little clearance and lots of rusty bolts. However, they nuts all came off fine, which was surprising.

So moved on to the header. I've been soaking all the bolts for a week, and luckily all the head bolts came off once I put together exquisitely-complex multi-ujoint-extensions and found other creative ways to get to them. One was stripped so I hammered on a star-head socket and that took it off. About half the studs came out but after much cursing and wrangling and finding routes for extensions, I finally got it off.

\

vs. the new one

Curiously, the 02 sensor came out of the old pipe without much of a fight, so that was a plus. 

The new one went on comparatively easily, and fits well. I got high-end Remflex gaskets so hopefully won't have any leaks. Only had one issue adn that was because I cross-threaded a bolt onto the exhaust flange and impacted it on, and then had to get it off, which was a pain. All in all, after much cursing and grease and bleeding, got it on there entirely and everything bolted back up, etc.

Hard to see down there...

I literally used all these tools to do it.

All in all, a giant pain in the ass. I only did the driver's side for now, but supposedly the passenger side is substantially easier since there's way less stuff in the way (including the steering column). I do have one remaining issue on the rear central exhaust flange, which I had to cut the bolts off of to get it off to allow the header to come out. The remaining flange was so rusted it's practically paper-thin and I can't bolt it up tight enough, so there's a small leak there. I think I'll just chop the flanges off and weld up a connecting pipe there, since I have no intent of ever taking it off again while I own this vehicle. 

I turned the truck on and didn't hear the telltale ticking, just the rear exhaust leak. So hopefully once I fix that it will be where I want it. I'll probably give the passenger side a shot next week, or whenever I'm bored at some point. Since the passenger side isn't leaking, not in a big rush. Don't think having the mismatched headers will be an issue for anything at the moment. 

 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/28/21 9:01 p.m.

oh also, while I was doing all that stuff I forgot a package came in. Sprung for something nicer than my usual bargain-shopping, since Ohio Forest Rally has a good amount of evening stages.....and I'm not totally satisfied with my current lighting. more on install when I get around to it

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/30/21 5:56 p.m.

So we're officially registered for Southern Ohio Forest Rally (SOFR). 60 cars registered so far, but most likely there will be well over 100 eventually.  In any case, the Open 2WD class is already pretty big and fast. Should be fun trying to catch some of these guys...

Doubleheader rallycross at Summit Point this weekend. Hopefully I'l drive faster than last weekend!

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/3/21 12:04 p.m.

Ok, quick recap of last weekend's doubleheader. The weather was great, and as usual MR class made up damn near half of the total attendees (16-17 cars in MR), with all the usual suspects there, plus a few others.

Jim spent some time installing his new codriver harness since we have to use it next week.

Amanda matched her car and clothing 

On Saturday we ran the smaller "tree course" which is much more turny with less "power runs" like Barn Course has. As is typical for me, I went out of the gate fast and was up at the top, but as is also typical for me, I didn't improve my subsequent run times quite as much as some other guys do. A bit of drama midway through the morning when some course workers reset a gate far from the correct position, which the 2-3 cars after them managed to nagivate around. Then after being told it was wrong (by the course workers at the next station), they proceeded to move the gate FURTHER from the correct position before my run. Not knowing this, me and one of the cars after me basically followed the new gate and were sent so far off that we both missed the next gate by a mile (too bad, since that was my best run of the day up to that point). In the end, they threw out that run for everyone so it didn't count, but it was still pretty annoying.

We worked course for all the FWD classes, which is normall pretty boring, but a couple of them at least tried to put on a show..

And Shawn and Katie (PR) were in that group, so at least we got to see a little bit of RWD action (which is the best action)

The rest of the day went pretty much normally, other than Nick somehow got too far out someplace and took out three cones in an outside wall (which is about 3 seasons-worth of cones for him) and dropped him back. The class battled for the rest of the day and though I don't have the results posted, I think Stephen won in his e30, followed by Neil Cox in another e30, and me behind them. Nick managed to catch back up to right behind me, I think.

Then libations were had...

Oh, there was a C-class Benz diesel with a huge turbo and hood exhaust running, which was awesome...even if it wasn't fast at all.

 

Day 2 was back on the big, fast, Barn Course - but with some additional slaloms thrown in rather than the giant drag-race straights we usually have there. I'm all for that, personally, as I find the big straights to be kind of boring (and also advantageous to Nick with his huge power advantage over the rest of the class in the M3).

The usual crew...

I came out of the gate fast and was 1st or 2nd for a couple runs, but by the last morning run the class had closed in (though I think I was sitting in 2nd or maybe 3rd). The very end of the course had a blind crest into finish with an offset gate that was hard for everyone to see. And in my car with the seat so low because of the cage, I couldn't see the gate at all until I was right up on it. I had more or less guessed the correct line for the first five (?) runs but on the last mornin run I guessed wrong and found myself too close to the gate. I tried to mash the throttle to juke the car around it (which I did), but as it was over a crest, that caused the rear end to unload and come back the other way, and I wiped the left side finish cone as well as the five behind it. So, dropped from 2nd/3rd down to 11th.....doh. 

After lunch, I hit the course with a bit of reckless abandon and managed to run the fastest times in the class for my first two runs by a good margin (with no cones). Third run was also fast, but I took a second to "vamp" for a photographer in a corner by pitching the car 90 degrees sideways at full lock (I hope he got the shot), and in the process got into the soft stuff outside and took down two cones there. Without those, would have been the second-fastest run in the class there too (behind Nick's run). Then I made my last run in Jim's Miata, which is a blast to drive but massively underpowered for a course like this (especially with Jim riding along)- and so quiet I did a good chunk of the course in first since I couldn't feel or hear it bouncing off the limiter for a good 10 seconds. Still managed a time in the upper half of the class for that run, and overall got back up to 8th place for the day in spite of 8 cones (which is a drop even anyhow, but whatever). Nick ended up passing everyone in the afternoons and took the class by a couple seconds I think. Not sure who was behind him, since I was busy battling the lower half of the class by that point, haha. I think Nick also did like half his runs (on Sat or Sun, I forget) with his jack and gear in the trunk of his car, forgetting to take it out. I'd say I sympathize with him since I keep most of that gear (including my 50lb rally spare tire) in the trunk all the time, but I doubt the M3 felt that weight too much. 

All in all, the car held up well, and I ran all day on hard gravels rather than the usual Maxsports, which felt pretty good on the super-hard-packed clay. 

We have a rallysprint at Rausch Creek Offroad Park next weekend (hopefully the weather holds up), which is a new venue that looks pretty awesome. Should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 stage miles and it'll be fun getting this car up to some high speeds after almost 2 years of no stage rally. From the preview vids I've seen I wouldn't be surprised if I can get this thing close to triple digits....we'll see. 

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