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¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
7/21/20 10:30 a.m.
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I don't want to clog up your build thread, but do you have a thread somewhere that talks about how you got into rally?

Nothing all in one place, really, but basically it started with rallycrossing a whole bunch of different cars, then the following two threads cover my start in RallyMoto and our first car, an RX7:

DRZ400 RallyMoto Bike

RX7 Rally Car

Apologies for how many of the pictures have broken in those threads.  The DRZ and RX7 threads and this one have some overlap but I think they're mostly different information.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/21/20 11:22 a.m.

I did some digging and found the results.

ARA SOFR Results by stage

The National "pro" attrition rate seems pretty high. 15/30 finishers vs. 19/29 in the Regional group.  And the times in the Regional group are pretty competitive which each other considering around two hours of racing.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
7/21/20 1:12 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

There were a LOT of places to go off where there would be no way to get the car back on the road quickly- add the heat, darkness, and long stages, and you've got a lot of reasons for teams to call it quits early.  As you can see, we weren't super fast (although I have my doubts about how much quicker the car could go with the current engine arrangement) but we were very happy to finish.

paranoid_android (Forum Enabler)
paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) UberDork
7/21/20 5:21 p.m.

In reply to EvanB (Forum Supporter) :

Wait a minute here- I thought you were going to sell the 323 GTX to me!!!  (Kidding around of course...)

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/20 5:32 p.m.
paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) said:

In reply to EvanB (Forum Supporter) :

Wait a minute here- I thought you were going to sell the 323 GTX to me!!!  (Kidding around of course...)

Absolutely, when should i deliver it?

paranoid_android (Forum Enabler)
paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) UberDork
7/21/20 5:52 p.m.

What a cool event this was!  It was so nice to be back at a rally.  Seeing friends I haven't seen in a year (or more), and being part of a community that is purely awesome.

Chris and Sara have done a great job getting the Merkur sorted during their time with it.  Despite the few starting tantrums Chris mentioned, it was pretty trouble free for the whole event.  Services consisted of fluid checks, visual once over, gas up and go.

This was the first ARA Rally I was part of from start to finish, and am thoroughly impressed by how well they ran it.  The flaming Subaru incident on stage two was a huge ordeal but they handled it very, very well.  Regarding that, my only gripe was net control never stated what car number was burning, so everyone in the service park was glued to their radios listening for details, which were scant.  I'm sure there were reasons for this, but when a majority of the cars entered are Subarus, a "Subaru on fire" call made a lot of crew members nervous.

It was my pleasure to help Chris and Sara out, and I hope I can make the next event whenever that may be.  Hopefully I'll be invited back after making a mess of their event decals cheeky

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
7/21/20 8:01 p.m.

In reply to paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) :

Here, let me showcase those passenger door decals with this photo from SS1:

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/21/20 8:37 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I can imagine.  During the chat, I think Evan was talking about the stages and how they leave little margin for error.

paranoid_android (Forum Enabler)
paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) UberDork
7/21/20 8:59 p.m.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/21/20 9:45 p.m.

In reply to paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) :

Was it you?  It's really hard to tell who is who using Zoom on a phone in a parking lot.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
7/27/20 8:40 a.m.
RallyPerry
RallyPerry
7/31/20 7:53 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

This thing is for sale.

And now it's mine.  

I'll try to post an update here every once in a while. 

First step is getting it home, which will take a week or two.

artur1808
artur1808 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/3/20 9:16 a.m.
RallyPerry said:
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

This thing is for sale.

And now it's mine.  

I'll try to post an update here every once in a while. 

First step is getting it home, which will take a week or two.

Congratulations on the purchase! Looking forward to following along

kodachrome
kodachrome New Reader
8/8/20 3:44 p.m.

From my Facebutts: And just like that, we don't own a single rally car. Passed the literal torch to Perry Seaman. I'm always sad to see cars go, but this move couldn't be more perfect for everyone. Perry, who is an engine guy, will sort it and have a blast. I have a feeling we will see it quite often in the future.

This Merkur XR4Ti, despite its best effort, finished every event we asked it to and was an incredible experience every time. Many thanks to this smug, butthead rally car for all the fun ❤

slowbird
slowbird SuperDork
8/8/20 4:41 p.m.

Merkurs never die, they just get passed around from rally team to rally team. laugh

RichardNZ
RichardNZ GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/8/20 5:36 p.m.

Thanks for the memories guys and best wishes to the new owner for continued pleasure... (it only took me for Sierra to learn my lesson smiley )

paranoid_android (Forum Enabler)
paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) UberDork
8/8/20 6:11 p.m.

Sounds like it's off to a good home!

I was trying to think of some of the car's milestones.  Won tech at SOFR 2020, tied with Josh's E30 at WMWR the year before (only rally tie I've heard of).  I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
8/8/20 7:57 p.m.

In reply to paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) :

Big ones that come to mind for me:

  • Finishing Black River Stages with the turbo on fire
  • Running day 2 at New England Forest Rally with the hood off
  • Towing another Merkur out of the ditch while our guibo was broken
  • Experiencing an external head gasket failure
  • Car catching fire on a local backroad and getting towed home by Chief
  • Driving it up Mt Washington after finishing NEFR
RichardNZ
RichardNZ GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/9/20 3:53 a.m.
RichardNZ said:

Thanks for the memories guys and best wishes to the new owner for continued pleasure... (it only took me for Sierra to learn my lesson smiley )

four Sierra's ...

kodachrome
kodachrome New Reader
8/9/20 5:53 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) :

Big ones that come to mind for me:

  • Finishing Black River Stages with the turbo on fire
  • Running day 2 at New England Forest Rally with the hood off
  • Towing another Merkur out of the ditch while our guibo was broken
  • Experiencing an external head gasket failure
  • Car catching fire on a local backroad and getting towed home by Chief
  • Driving it up Mt Washington after finishing NEFR

You are seeming to forget on Stage 2 Black River Stages when you ended up off on a stump after you told your co-driver to "shut up, I got this" laugh after a 5>2 corner heart

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
8/9/20 6:31 a.m.

In reply to kodachrome :

The problem was that I thought I was good before the 5>2... afterwards it was obvious that I did not, in fact, got this.  cheeky

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/9/20 7:16 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to kodachrome :

The problem was that he thought he was good before the 5>2... afterwards it was obvious that he did not, in fact, have this.  cheeky

Fify. Read it in Morgan Freeman's voice for maximum enjoyment. 

RallyPerry
RallyPerry New Reader
8/10/20 10:27 p.m.

Hello all, just a quick update.

After about 12 hours of towing round trip, and spending a night sleeping in the back of the suburban at a truck stop..  I got the car home safe and sound with a bunch of the spares and wheels etc..  I unloaded the car in the dark and did some quick laps around the back roads with the wife and several of my 4 kids.  Neighbors are gonna love this thing if i keep up the late night testing lol. 

The car and I seem to have bonded rather easily, within a few minutes I could drive the thing near the limit with confidence and it seems to be very predictable.  I love how the tight LSD will bring the car around a bit on fast corner entry when you lift and once pointed the car settles into a tight neutral slide that is easily adjusted with throttle.  there's maybe a touch of low speed understeer but that's fixable with more aggressive braking.  I like it, i think with a few adjustments and some stage time to gain my trust it could be a quick enough car within the 2wd crowd.

After a good nights rest, I just couldn't stay away from figuring out the engine troubles.  it was very hard to start, especially hot, and wasn't making power under boost.  Other than that it seemed to run ok once going and at lighter loads.  While waiting to pickup the car I read this thread (all of it..) and came up with the theory that the fuel filter was not fine enough which can cause injectors not to close tightly.  I pulled the fuel rail and did a quick test.  Indeed a few injectors were dribbling when they should be closed.  Spray patterns and whatnot seemed ok, although these are apparently disc injectors,  not a very good choice for this car.  I put it all back knowing I had found an issue but that it shouldn't run as bad as it was just due to that.  Before I got the car i ordered a 5 micron fuel filter, new injectors, aftermarket fuel pressure regulator, and a megasquirt 2 setup for it.  so when that stuff arrives I'll fix the injector issue.  

It drove like a timing issue to me so I started just going back to basics and checking things over.   Long story short the installed cam position just didn't seem right to me and all the timing marks are gone with the removal of the timing cover and having an adjustable cam gear.  I reviewed a few pictures online and noticed that even though I don't have the alignment marks for cam timing, the keyway of the cam typically points down when the crank is at TDC.  so I popped off the timing belt and moved the cam maybe 30 degrees or 10-12 belt teeth to get the keyway pointing down.  Lo and behold, the car fired right up and ran much better.   Since then I've tweaked the cam to about 4 degrees retarded with the adjustable setup and it's running quite good.  

Good enough that I submitted an entry to Hardwood CUP rally, on August 22..  yes, this August..  It's a crazy short time to pull things together but it's also the last NASA rally of the year on dirt/gravel, and it's a blind rally which is better for my wife's first time codriving, and what the heck you only live once.  So now I need to pull together two peoples worth of racing licences, medical forms, fire suits, head restraints, helmets, etc...  in about a week.  I'm making good progress and have most of it already.

Tonight to celebrate I put the speedline wheels on it with old track day tires, terrorized some isolated tarmac with a friend from work, and degreased/pressure washed the car under the hood and outside thoroughly.  Tomorrow a couple of my kids are gonna attack the inside of the car with rags and spray bottles to try to clean things up some more.

The list:

-oil pressure drops too low from the rx7 oil cooler so I'm going to remove the oil stat or drill a hole across the thermostat to let the pressure stay up for now. I may put a different cooler on it if I get ambitious in the next few days and the parts store has something suitable.  Another possible fix is to TIG another AN fitting in the other end of the cooler and flow all the oil across it once (instead of across and back) to cut the restriction in half. 

-I noticed there's no wrap of the belt on the water pump, which could explain it running hot on stage, I'm gonna change belts around to provide more wrap.  I'll have to post a couple pics to show what I mean later.  

-It needs a touch of negative camber all around and some toe in on the rear for gravel use, it's a bit "floaty" on gravel compared to what I'm used to.  With limited time I may just leave it as is since it's not really adjustable and i'd have to create something.  It works rather awesome on tarmac as is (foreshadowing future event possibilities).

-there's an oil leak somewhere near the oil filter, need to pull the skid and look that over.  In fact, for the oil cooler changes and to look things over I'll probably pull the front bumper and skid etc.. tomorrow.

-I found a few other little things on the injection that I don't like, but since it's all getting ripped out in a couple weeks after hardwood rally I will do my best to ignore these things and just run it.

-if the kids seem particularly helpful I may hand them some white rustoleum and a brush for inside the car and try not to pay attention to whatever attrocities they commit in there.

-oh yea and I'm gonna replace the plastic side windows if I can get it all done quickly enough so I can give Chris and Sara back the ones with their names on them.

Perry

 

 

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
8/11/20 6:09 a.m.

In reply to RallyPerry :

I'm really happy to hear that you've already gotten it running so much better- thinking back, the cam timing almost has to have been wrong since the distributor gear replacement post-WMWR 2019.  That's entirely on me unless the thing slipped somehow, which seems unlikely.

On the belt wrap thing, I never liked it either- interested to see how you fix it, the original setup when I bought the car had an idler pulley that appeared to come from some sort of lawnmower as a tensioner.

Excited to see how you do at Hardwood!

RallyPerry
RallyPerry New Reader
8/11/20 8:04 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to RallyPerry :

I'm really happy to hear that you've already gotten it running so much better- thinking back, the cam timing almost has to have been wrong since the distributor gear replacement post-WMWR 2019.  That's entirely on me unless the thing slipped somehow, which seems unlikely.

On the belt wrap thing, I never liked it either- interested to see how you fix it, the original setup when I bought the car had an idler pulley that appeared to come from some sort of lawnmower as a tensioner.

Excited to see how you do at Hardwood!

Thanks.

Funny you should mention the tensioner, when I entered hardwood I got a note from Anders that if the lawnmower tensioner is still there he welded it on years ago lol.

Hardwood should be a very conservative run to get to know the car, but plans don't always turn out the way I intend lol.

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