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Petrolburner New Reader
3/5/14 8:19 p.m.

In order to understand how we got here we need to go back about 9 months or so. I got a new job as a Leadplane Pilot with the USFS.

Someone left several Road & Track magazines in the break room. I bought a 96 Miata with Torsen LSD and raced the last 2 autocross races I could find in the tri-state area for the '13 season.

The Miata was fun on the autocross course but unsatisfying on the highway. On roadtrips I often found myself behind a line of cars/trucks/RVs with limited areas to pass before the next set of fun corners. The Miata just doesn't have the guts to pass several cars or trucks in a short distance at highway speed. I always wanted an S2000, considered older 911s, Nissan 350z, etc. C5 Corvette clicked all the boxes, removable top, manual trans, RWD, adequate reliability, highway fuel mileage and luggage space. I drove 8 hours South to buy a one owner, highly modified C5.

Prior to buying the Miata a friend let me aggressively drive his WRX one afternoon reminding me how fun cars could be. (I've been deep into 4x4s and dualsport motos over the last 5 years) So one sunny afternoon I was able to repay the favor and let him drive the Silver Bullet. Going through a fence backwards totaled the Silver Bullet Insurance payout plus cash from my friend got this bad boy into my garage on January 3rd of 2014.

She likes it.

All stock. Let the games begin.

bgkast Dork
3/5/14 8:45 p.m.

Is he still your friend?

mazdeuce PowerDork
3/5/14 8:57 p.m.

This story starts with an airplane, a Miata, a totaled C5 and a hot chick in a C6. Well done.

Rad_Capz HalfDork
3/5/14 10:00 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: This story starts with an airplane, a Miata, a totaled C5 and a hot chick in a C6. Well done.

X2, With pics including Motorcycles, Mountain bikes and a Big Foot short bus!

dyintorace UberDork
3/6/14 7:58 a.m.

What an auspicious start to a story! I'd include the popcorn icon if this board allowed!

turboswede UltimaDork
3/6/14 8:30 a.m.

Wow, great story! Also, welcome from a fellow Oregonian! (Portlander, but I'm a native, heh.)

Bobzilla PowerDork
3/6/14 9:09 a.m.
mazdeuce wrote: This story starts with an airplane, a Miata, a totaled C5 and a hot chick in a C6. Well done.

This may be the best intro thread EVAR!

Nashco UberDork
3/6/14 10:27 a.m.

jstein77 SuperDork
3/6/14 10:40 a.m.

Well actually it started with someone leaving R&T magazines in the break room, but I'm not sure how that tied into the picture. No interest in cars before seeing the magazine?

Petrolburner New Reader
3/6/14 3:22 p.m.
jstein77 wrote: Well actually it started with someone leaving R&T magazines in the break room, but I'm not sure how that tied into the picture. No interest in cars before seeing the magazine?

The new job led to the new break room which led to the R&T magazines. I had an 87 Acura Integra in High School that I thought was awesome. I did the intake, exhaust, paint and neon lights thing. This was right when the original Fast and Furious came out. Eventually I realized what a 'fast' car was and how much money it would take to get one. I didn't have it, so I gave up on cars for a few years. Got into 4x4s and motos.

Petrolburner New Reader
3/6/14 5:41 p.m.

First time my wet shoes slipped off the factory clutch pedal I decided something had to be done about that.

The gas pedal is obviously shaped differently too, which helps with the heel-toe downshifts.

With the Silver Bullet I learned 500hp was pretty crazy. 400hp is way more sane. So I'm not looking to add power. I'm closely reading the 2014 SCCA Solo rules and decided I want to run A-Street. 140 TW tires, any shocks, any brake pads and lines. Any exhaust is legal behind the cats. I got tired of the old man silent factory exhaust right away. Picked up a used Corsa Sport exhaust off a member of CorvetteForum.

Huge PITA working on jackstands on the garage floor.

Found this on the bottom though, NCM stands for National Corvette Museum. I'm pretty sure it just associates with an option when new that you could take delivery at the museum and tour the factory and stuff. Get your picture taken yadda yadda. This Corvette has been loved.

Had some overhead fluerescent lights burn out so I took the new SPORT-utility-vehicle to the hardware store for some 8 foot long bulbs. No sweat.

I've installed Carbone Lorraine RC5+ sintered race pads. Wow do these things bite. Stock pads were fine for normal highway speed braking. 60 to 0 was just fine. The Z51 has big brakes, 13.4" rotors up front and 13" rotors in the rear. The area that I found a little lacking was the 120-60 braking. That and when the stock pads overheat the braking ability drops off a cliff. The sintered pads fade more gradually when you overheat them from what I've read. The 120-60 braking is much better. I had the ABS notification flash at around 100 so I think it's got enough power. I've still got these to install and ATE type 200 fluid to put in.

FedEx stopped by today too.

turboswede UltimaDork
3/6/14 6:59 p.m.

You know whats kinda funny? I was thinking that your Miata would be much more fun with the Corvette motor in it ;)


Seriously though, looks like you'll be ready for this season!

Petrolburner New Reader
3/6/14 8:49 p.m.
turboswede wrote: You know whats kinda funny? I was thinking that your Miata would be much more fun with the Corvette motor in it ;) http://flyinmiata.com/V8/ Seriously though, looks like you'll be ready for this season!

The Miata would indeed be more fun with a 500hp LS1. However, I really did go back to the drawing board after the death of the Silver Bullet. I reevaluated all the old options and some new ones. I realized how much more practical a WRX would be for where I live, but there are a E36 M3-ton of them out here. I really wanted a convertible or a targa top. Between the two, I'd prefer a targa. I looked at the S2K again and even the MR2 Spyder anyway. At multiple price levels I still feel that Corvette is the best answer. I bought my C6 in excellent shape, with 73k miles and no history of abuse for $21.5k. That's not chump change but what else can you buy for ~20 grand that has 400hp, 400tq, LSD, 6 speed MT, heads up display, easily stowed targa top, factory racheting seat belts so you can get the tightness of a harness with the ease of use of a 3pt, 28mpg on the highway, ultra quiet and comfortable while getting that 28mpg, huge useable trunk space, plentiful aftermarket, heated seats, touchscreen nav/audio, proximity key fob that you never have to take out of your pocket (Seriously this is one of my favorite features. Car unlocks automatically as I walk up to it, I can hit the hidden rubber-covered trunk release button and pop the hatch, sit inside and it recognizes all my preset seat, steering wheel and audio settings, hit the starter button and go! When you're done just shut the door and walk away, the car locks again after 8 seconds automatically. It will beep 3 times if you leave the fob in the car and not lock. Another benefit is that I can start it and let it warm up and no one can drive it away without the fob in the car, great for winter time.) multiple traction/stability control modes, shift light on the windshield as part of the heads up display, tons of data accessible from the dash buttons and readout, an all composite body that is basically immune to door dings...the list just goes on and on. I love this car. I've always thought Corvettes were like Harleys. Made a nice sound and looked cool, but were just for mid life crises and posers. I was wrong. I love Corvettes now. Already thinking about restoring an older one. Also thinking about getting a big ole boat of a car as a tow rig, a trailer, and an old NASCAR to make into a trackday machine.

turtl631 Reader
3/7/14 11:13 a.m.

They really are a fantastic deal. I'm pretty dead set on an S2000, but I could get a Vette of similar age/miles and reap all the benefits you mentioned. More space, more comfortable, way faster. Very different flavors of car.

Petrolburner New Reader
3/8/14 9:01 p.m.

Petrolburner New Reader
3/9/14 8:42 p.m.

Glad I got some work done yesterday, I'm too hungover today to do anything complicated.

Installed the skip-shift bypass harness and dust plug. Easy. Ziptied in place.

The Konis on the other hand, took awhile. The last one went much faster than the first one. Getting the shocks compressed, and keeping them compressed was the hardest part. I didn't have to use a torch on anything this time! Also, I really need a parts washer. More accurately I need enough room for a parts washer, then a parts washer.

Shocks come out

Rusted, but not seized.

I like the design of the new ones better. The stud is fixed so I don't have to use a crescent wrench to hold it.

I was able to compress the new Konis all the way which made them pretty easy to get in.

Moving from wheel to wheel with an assortment of tools was a PITA. I cleaned out one of my oil drain pans and tossed all the relevant tools in there which made it easier to drag everything along to the next wheel. I'm going to be doing this a lot more in the future.

I'm also really considering investing in something like the Ranger QuickJack. http://www.bendpak.com/Shop-Equipment/QuickJack/ My knees and ankles took a beating crawling around. The lift would get the car high enough I could use a little roller stool. I also think it would be much more stable than it is on jackstands. Jackstands make me a little nervous when I'm under the car too.

Lof8 Reader
3/9/14 8:53 p.m.

Good stuff in here. I'm in for more progress - whats on the agenda?

Petrolburner New Reader
3/9/14 9:06 p.m.

Reusable number plates from Solotime.

New wheels are getting Hankook RS3 tires mounted and balanced. Should be able to pick them up Tuesday. Can't wait to ditch the chrome! Not sure where I'm going to store them though, my tire rack is already full.

Petrolburner New Reader
3/11/14 1:04 a.m.

Flushed the brake fluid out with ATE TYP 200 dot4. Reread the rules for SCCA Street and I can't change the lines. Damn. Not sure what to do now.

New wheels on tomorrow!

Petrolburner New Reader
3/12/14 11:04 p.m.

First time with the numbers on the car, what do you think? My callsign with the USFS is Lead-63, so I decided 63 is my new lucky number.

FedEx is my least favorite shipping company compared to UPS and USPS. My rear tires still aren't in. I'm hoping I don't have to go with the chrome rears and black fronts just to have sticky tires on all 4 corners. During some parking lot testing I determined I'll just understeer like crazy with the Michelin Pilot AS Plus ZP tires up front. Leaving for Portland Friday night to take the SCCA Starting Line driving school on Saturday and then race in the season opener Sunday.

Petrolburner New Reader
3/17/14 11:52 p.m.

Threw a quick coat of wax on the inside of the wheel so the brake dust and crud would be easy to wash off. Wish I would have had time to do the fronts right away but I didn't.


Got my first driving school in at PIR and my first autocross in the next day. I was in the first run group and it was cold and rainy at first which made putting down 400 hp difficult. I managed a 2nd place in class and 51st of 110 compared to all the rest of the drivers, although they had a warmer and drier track. Tons of fun and more to follow.

bgkast Dork
3/18/14 12:38 a.m.

Look dead sexy with the black wheels! Not bad results for your first rodeo.

Petrolburner New Reader
3/24/14 8:09 p.m.

Slightly unhappy today. Radiator sprung a leak yesterday. I'm thinking I might as well replace it with a dual core all aluminum model. Downside is I have my first track day in 5, make that 4 days. I can't even get a stock replacement in that time frame. Took me a number of hours to remove the radiator today. Lots of swearing. I could never be a professional mechanic, I'm too slow and I get pissed off too easily. Right now the radiator is in my garage with a generous coating of JB Weld on it. I'm going to let it setup and take it to a radiator repair shop to pressure test it before I wrestle it back into the car. I decided not to pay to have it proffessionally repaired, if I'm going to spend the money on it, I'd like to just throw a new one in. I'm still debating on a factory style replacement for about $300 or a super-duper aluminum track worthy radiator for $800. Just spent about a grand yesterday when I placed my order for a QuickJack by Ranger (BendPak)

While I have the radiator torn out I'm thinking it's a good time to change the wobbly crank pulley. I have a new one sitting on the bench. It requires pulling the steering rack out. About an 8 hour job for normal people. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl-a4aaVPk0

OHSCrifle Reader
3/24/14 8:34 p.m.

Where is the radiator leak? I had one crack on a joint between tank and a hose fitting, and it cost me eighteen bucks to have it brazed... In the truck.

I anticipated $ hundreds, and left really relieved.

Mitchell UltraDork
3/24/14 11:25 p.m.

The black wheels are a huge improvement. It gives the car a personality 25 years younger, if that makes any sense.

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