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wae
wae SuperDork
5/18/19 2:53 p.m.

They couldn't test the alternator because the casting was in the way of the plug (which explains why taking that connector off was like an olympic event).  But I can't imagine that the testing I was doing on the car would have been any different than what their machine was doing.  I went ahead and bought a reman unit and I'll go back over and get it installed after church.

wae
wae SuperDork
5/20/19 7:56 a.m.

Points-event-called-two-but-actually-the-first was yesterday and things went pretty well!

In the morning, everything was fine.  The car was performing beautifully on the course with only a couple things that I need to address.  I was having a hard time getting the rear brakes to lock up to rotate the car the way I wanted with left-foot braking and the parking brake seems to have a lot of slack in the line so that doesn't work too well, either.  I also noticed that my window net is a bit frayed and sun-damaged, so I need to replace that.  Maybe I'll do arm restraints instead so that I don't have to work out how to mount the window nets around the door panels once I put those back on.

The afternoon was a slightly different story.  I'm not sure what was up, but we sat in grid for a pretty long time and right as I got to the start line, the car started misfiring and running lean.  I went ahead and completed the lap and drove straight to the truck after the finish line.  Turns out the voltage regulator plug popped off the regulator so I had been running off of battery power and that was running low.  After putting that back in and using my jump pack to get the car fired, I was back in the game.  Until I stalled the car and everything went totally dark.  No fan, no lights, no starter, nothing.  This time, the positive battery cable had worked its way loose, so giving that a little extra turn got things right again and I was off.   The only afternoon problem was that I was running way too hot, even with spraying down the radiator between runs.  I *have* to get that new radiator and fan setup installed.

Overall, I'd consider it mostly a success!  I don't have a lot of time before the National Challenge event (or whatever they call it), but between now and then my list is:

  • Arm restraints/window net (even if it's just moving the passenger one over)
  • Secure the electrical connections better
  • Reconnect the ground and signal lines to the coolant temp, oil temp, and oil pressure senders
  • Re-bead the tires
  • Give the front end a good look and make sure everything is tight and secure
  • Learn how to drive
wae
wae SuperDork
5/20/19 9:30 a.m.

Check one thing off my list:  I'm going to try arm restraints.  I flipped through the latest issue of GRM and found the Racequip ad so $25 later, the order is placed and they're on the way!

EvanB
EvanB MegaDork
5/20/19 9:55 a.m.

Jerry
Jerry UberDork
5/20/19 9:42 p.m.

In reply to EvanB :

See what you miss by being too cool for the Facebooks @wae?

wae
wae SuperDork
5/22/19 11:37 a.m.

I'm not entirely sure how to install them with the Schroth harness, but I'm sure it'll be fairly obvious when I go to try.  I think I'd like to try to come up with some sort of quick release so I'm not literally tied down to the car. 

Thanks for the pictures, Tim!  I'm sorry I didn't have any good everybody-come-push-my-heap-off-the-course photo ops for ya!

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
5/24/19 6:46 p.m.

I have the RJCs, which couldn't really tighten down to my wee little wrists, so they always rode closer to my elbows.  At the bottom I just looped the loop part through the lap belt.  You could also ask Draco how he did it, he used to run arm restraints in the blue WRX.

 

If you use them, make sure to tell the starter to tell the corner workers that you are using arm restraints!  I got red flagged a couple times for having a window down, and of course those were the best runs of all time up to that point.  I kinda wish we had some sort of easy way to show corner workers that it's okay to have a window down, like an X on the B pillar or something.

 

I was looking at the numbers from the recent event, and if MR and MF were one class, you'd have been third behind me and Evan by .034 seconds.

wae
wae SuperDork
5/30/19 7:00 a.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

That's good advice, thanks!  I've never seen a corner worker flag a car for a window down before - although I have heard radio calls to "tell the starter to make sure that car has their windows up".  I'd have never thought that was something to have the starter do!

I was also looking at those numbers and from the "to finish first you must first finish" stack, if my first two afternoon runs had been at full power instead of cutting out because of the stupid voltage regulator plug and battery post I would have been at least a full second faster each time around.  Hopefully I can manage to just not embarrass myself at the June event when we have company.

Jerry
Jerry UberDork
5/30/19 9:22 a.m.
wae said:

In reply to Knurled. :

That's good advice, thanks!  I've never seen a corner worker flag a car for a window down before - although I have heard radio calls to "tell the starter to make sure that car has their windows up".  I'd have never thought that was something to have the starter do!

As a sometimes-starter, I've done that before.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
5/30/19 9:48 a.m.

When I’m starting, I try to do a visual check for helmets, seat belts, loose cameras, and windows on each car.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
5/30/19 12:14 p.m.

In reply to wae :

It happened at a DRSCCA event.  What was annoying was how I got red flagged a second time at the same exact corner on my next run.  After I showed them that my arms were strapped down and my hands couldn't leave the window.

wae
wae SuperDork
6/1/19 9:28 p.m.

I think I have the arm restraints in correctly.  I can manipulate the controls but my limbs can't go through the window.

 

Now let's see how far I can get with the radiator swap out before I run out of energy for the night!

Out with the old:

 

wae
wae SuperDork
6/1/19 10:18 p.m.

Old radiator is out

 

The electric for the fans needs to be hooked up still, but I put the foam on the fan shroud so I could bolt it up and do a test fit in the car.  Looking good:

I'm going to call it a night for now.

wae
wae SuperDork
6/3/19 8:44 a.m.

Work complete!

Man, that's an ugly engine bay...  Oh well.  I spent a little extra time re-drilling my upper brackets and putting in some spacers to keep the radiator from bouncing around and from hitting the core support.  

 

What I found really interesting and annoying is that despite the fact that I am using the Mishimoto fan shroud on the Mishimoto radiator, the shroud gets in the way of the hoses and, more importantly, the hose clamps.  I had expected slightly more plug-and-play by using the two components together as opposed to trying to mix and match.

While putting it back together, I decided to grab some coroplast and try some ducting around the radiator.  If that seems to work, I might try to make something more permanent out of sheet aluminum. 

With the front end up in the air, I let it run until the thermostat opened and kept the system topped off so it should be bled and ready to rock.

Next things on my list are to tighten up the electric connections and to fix the beads on the tires.  Before I'm ready for the national tour event I also need to do the wheel bearings on the motorhome, hook up the brake controller, and install a strip of lights under the awning.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
6/3/19 1:36 p.m.

Going to try to build a small airdam before the event?

wae
wae SuperDork
6/3/19 1:53 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

Yeah, if I have a chance to stop and get some of the plastic edging I'm going to try putting some of that on there as an airdam and see how it works out.  I always did like the look that your car had with it!

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
6/3/19 2:02 p.m.
wae said:

In reply to eastsideTim :

Yeah, if I have a chance to stop and get some of the plastic edging I'm going to try putting some of that on there as an airdam and see how it works out.  I always did like the look that your car had with it!

Cool, if nothing else, you can grab some of it this weekend.  I think the one I had was probably bigger than needed.  Based on the size of the stock one I used to have, it shouldn’t take much to create a low pressure zone in the engine compartment.

wae
wae SuperDork
6/8/19 2:01 p.m.

I was supposed to take advantage of our office's "summer hours" and spend Friday working on the car, but instead I went to Dayton to drop a log on my toe and break it.  My toe, not the log.  The log was fine.

Today, I drained the oil and put in fresh.  I think I stripped out the oil plug, though, so it won't really tighten and it's weeping a little bit of oil.  Great.  I guess I need to drain that stuff into a clean container and go buy a tap that's the right size to clean it up.

Also, I found out why the oil pressure and temp gauges aren't working: the ground that feeds both popped out of its butt connector.  Replacing it resulted in just ruining the last connector that I had, so I've got to go get more.

And finally, the radiator is leaking and I think it's from the lower hose.  The shroud (also made by Mishimoto) gets in the way and I think it's keeping the stupid hose from seating all the way.  So I'll have to get that taken care of 

One step forward, three steps back.

wae
wae SuperDork
6/9/19 11:52 a.m.

Forward progress:

For six bucks, I got an oversized, self-tapping drain plug.  For future reference, the size listed on the package denotes the original size that you've stripped out, not the actual thread size of the plug you're buying.  I tried to pump out the oil through the dip stick tube, but it just wouldn't work.  So instead I put the original oil jug under the drain hole, backed the plug out slowly, and just held it in place to carefully drain the fresh oil into the jug.  That took forever, but once the oil was out it was a quick process to put the oversize plug in, tighten it up, and put the oil back in.

The electrical connections for the oil sensors are crimped back up and working, so that's fixed.

Now, I'm trying to get the radiator sealed up.  I'm a bit miffed that this is a problem:

A little hard to see, but the fan is blocking the lower hose connection and I am having a hard time sealing it up because of that 

wae
wae SuperDork
6/9/19 4:04 p.m.

Radiator should be sealed up now and everything is back together.  I'm going to have to run it for a bit to make sure, but the hose and clamp are all fully seataed now after pulling the shroud off. 

After going a little crazy with the zip ties, all the various wires and hoses should be secured as well.  I don't think I'm going to get to the airdam, but other than that the only thing left to do is to re-set the beads on the tires.

wae
wae SuperDork
6/9/19 9:02 p.m.

Mother. berkeleyer.  Coolant is still leaking.  It's either the radiator itself or somehow the hose is spraying forward.

I love it when a simple thing morphs into a damned disaster.

wae
wae SuperDork
6/9/19 9:45 p.m.

Or a third possibility: left over spillage.  I took the fans off and dried the whole thing out with compressed air.  Then I let it run until the thermostat opened, discovering in the process that without a good ground the car runs like crap.  No leaking or pooling of coolant in that area.  Then just to see if it was coming out as steam with the engine running and then condensing to liquid as it cooled I had a tasty beverage and waited.

Totally dry still.  That's a relief.  I take it all back.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
6/9/19 9:59 p.m.

In reply to wae :

Once again, doing nothing made things all better.

wae
wae SuperDork
6/11/19 7:58 a.m.

Big updates from last night!

First off, no more coolant or oil pooling under the car, so rock on.  The transmission case is still weeping some Synchromesh, but I don't see me getting the motivation to pull everything out and crack the case open to re-seal it anytime soon.

Next up, I went ahead and put the hood back on.  Bam!

It's riding on its street shoes now and the dirt tires are in my BUTT so I can fix the beads.

I washed the windshield.  Inside AND out.

My goal is to be pulling out of the storage lot with the motorhome loaded with provisions and the car by noon on Friday.  For the car, the remaining tasks are just to pop the beads on the tires and maybe add the airdam.  The rest of the prep tasks that I have are more related to the motorhome than to the car.   I've got something weird with the wiring for the brake controller (I think it's a bad ground somewhere, plus at one point I had it wired off the house batteries instead of the chassis battery where it belongs), and I need to do the front wheel bearings and load my provisions.

Oh, and one other thing I need to work on is creating some sort of splint for my left big toe.  I was cleared by the almost-a-doc yesterday at the orthopaedic joint to wear a regular shoe when I have clutch work to do, but after driving the Miata around on Saturday I was hurting pretty bad the next day.  The clutch in the Neon is way heavier than the Miata's so even though there isn't much shifting to do my concern is that it's going to really wear on me.  If I can keep the big toe from bending, though, I think it'll be less painful.  I'm thinking about some sort of wooden insert to put in my shoe under the big toe.  We'll see what I can cook up.  

Maybe I'm going to ruin the whole thing right now, but I don't know when I've had this little left to do on a Tuesday before a race!

wae
wae SuperDork
6/11/19 3:00 p.m.

And tires beads are reset.  Not sure what happened to them -- they were holding air just fine, but part of the bead was just flipped up on itself for whatever reason.  Each tire has been debeaded, the rim cleaned and sanded a bit, and then rebeaded and the pressure set.  Tonight I need to look at making a splint for the toe.

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