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TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/10/21 8:12 p.m.

That is both ridiculous and wonderful.  I tip my hat to you, sir.  Well bought!

Mezzanine
Mezzanine Dork
8/11/21 3:32 p.m.

What an awful experience! I would have been hard pressed to shell out $3k for that much obvious hackery, but I think you did the right thing given the sum of the parts once you got it sorted. I'm eager to see this thing all muddy!

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/11/21 8:25 p.m.
Mezzanine said:

What an awful experience! I would have been hard pressed to shell out $3k for that much obvious hackery, but I think you did the right thing given the sum of the parts once you got it sorted. I'm eager to see this thing all muddy!

Honestly, I was doubting my decision the whole time...as I made it, and as I drove home, and until I drove it and felt the thing shift out of first gear.  I was really hoping the fixes were this simple and I got pretty lucky!  I'm pretty certain I came out better than buying a stock beater Smartcar and buying the aftermarket parts myself.  $2500 was the best price for a runner I had been able to negotiate in several weeks of trying. 

java230
java230 UberDork
8/12/21 10:49 a.m.

Sounds like you did OK. At least the un-berkeleyery was pretty easy it seems. That does look like a hoot.

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/12/21 11:32 a.m.

Last weekend, Erin and I took a road trip to Savannah and Augusta. My main draw to Augusta was to check out the abandoned Augusta International Speedway road course.  This place was only open from 1960-1970 but most of the 3 mile course remains somewhat intact.  A sports facility has been constructed over a portion of the grounds but you can still go walk most of the track.  If you weren't already aware it's there, you would never notice it. Very fun and very hot!

 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/26/21 12:25 p.m.

Snagged the overall win at the firm rallyx last week!  I've been real successful out there this year, but none of these wins are easy.  The other guys are not far back on my tail.  This win has secured the season championship but no way am I missing the 4th race of the season.  It's been rescheduled to Sunday 10/24, the day after the $2k Challenge.  

The Firm is hosting a Nitro Rallyx race in December (Travis Pastrana's Series). The following weekend, the firm is going to host a rallyx using as much of the Nitro course as is safe. Should be rad!


 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/26/21 2:51 p.m.

Smart Car got a wheel/tire update and is now DOT legal, as well as some "custom" (home made) bumpers/recovery/tie-down points.   And it fits in the trailer, although I do have to crawl out the rear hatch/tailgate once it's inside  :)

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/27/21 5:34 p.m.

Wifey and I both came down with Covid this week and were tired of being couped up at home.  So we took the Smartcar down to the causeway to chill with a couple drinks. :)

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/16/21 2:35 p.m.

I'm not expecting many (any) people to buy these shirts, but I saw the artwork company's ad on facebook and I had to have them do a design of my E36 M3boxes.

White Trash T-shirts

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/23/21 8:10 p.m.

My buddy was racing his Camaro at the NASA nationals at Daytona last weekend, so we dragged the Smartcar over there to watch him race and play on the beach. There where several areas of the beach with "4x4 only beyond this point" signs, but the lil car ate up the soft stuff no problem!

70 spec miatas bump drafting around the Daytona banking is quite a sight!

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/28/21 7:55 a.m.

Last weekend had some motorsports fun and some bad news as well.  Friday night, Erin and I and some friends went to the "Freedom Factory" for a burnout show.  I normally wouldn't seek out a burnout show, but the FF is very close to home and the $10 ticket was pretty reasonable.  I like to support Cleetus, as he saved a local racetrack that would otherwise be gone.  It was pretty entertaining!  Heres a rotary swapped Mystery Machine van that spits fire and nearly flipped over during its burnout.  In this photo its actually moving backwards and landed on all 4.

Saturday night was an evening of ATV and SxS races at the Bullring in Ocala.  Its awesome to watch because the top drivers are super aggressive and make some wild passes, but it always re-affirms my decision not to go wheel-to-wheel myself in the Yamaha.  Way too much carnage for my budget.  I saw several cars on their roof, several cars toted off by the backhoe and one caught fire.  The snack shack out there had some delicious bbq meatballs and piping hot french fries with some cajun seasoning.  A+!

There was a UF home football game Saturday night as well, so I got stuck in a super dumpy motel before Sunday's track day at the FIRM, running the course in reverse!  Thats sort of like running an entirely new track!  It flowed really well and was a lot of fun.  I did, however, see some blue smoke in my rear view mirror of my LS1 BMW.  I've seen a few hints of this before, but, ya know, its a higher mileage engine.  But the smoke that day was more than I'd seen before and couldn't easily be ignored.  Back at home, I've found that my rear main seal "drip" has grown to something more significant once things heat up on track.  evidence of significant drippage onto the exhaust pipe.  Unfortunately, this seems to be an engine-out repair in this car.  I think I'm going to pull the engine and do a significant refresh on it.  The car works really well and is a blast.  she needs some love.

NBraun
NBraun GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/1/21 10:13 a.m.

Andy, I know we're a little past the v8 ranger. What did you end up doing for a rad/fan setup for it? Did you end up doing a pusher? There is just not a whole lot of room in the engine bay!

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/1/21 12:21 p.m.
NBraun said:

Andy, I know we're a little past the v8 ranger. What did you end up doing for a rad/fan setup for it? Did you end up doing a pusher? There is just not a whole lot of room in the engine bay!

yep, just a cheap electric pusher.  I never had any cooling problems with it.

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/20/21 6:45 a.m.

With the $2k Challenge rapidly approaching, I signed up for a local PCA autocross. I haven't run the Spyder kart since February and wanted to get reacquainted.  Seems we're still on good terms :) took home the FTD by 8/10s!


 

teardown on the e36 has begun.  

 

picked up a predator powered go kart.  A buddy of mine is hosting a dirt circle track race in his back yard, for anything Predator-powered. So I'm planning some tire and gearing changes to get it set up. 

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
10/20/21 5:59 p.m.

I've got a few spare cart rims if you need any. Keep us updated on any tire options you find. I have a feeling the low profile tires might not be great for what might be showing up. 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/20/21 7:29 p.m.

In reply to Greg Voth :

Looks like "carlisle turf savers" are an option. Do you happen to have any 6" diameter kart wheels with the "metric" 3 bolt pattern?

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/27/21 12:18 p.m.

Last weekend was quite the endurance test!  Friday/Saturday of course was the $2K Challenge and Sunday was the final event of the Firm rallyx season.  My goal was to win the autocross at the Challenge, then boogie home and swap trailers and win the Firm event and the season Championship.  Things didn't go quite that perfectly but it was still awesome!  I held first in the autox for quite a while and was feeling pretty good, as the cars I considered big threats were putting up times several seconds slower than me.  Then Mike Casino hopped in the X71.  In his last run, he pulled a run 1/10th faster than my best!  Sonofabitch!  That makes 3 years in a row getting beat by a hair at the last minute!  Next year I'll be bringing more horsepower and more rubber.  Grrrrr.  Man, what a year at the Challenge!  Some of the most wild home built cars I've seen in 10 or 12 years of attending!

Sunday was the rallyx.  The course was a bit shorter than usual and was getting very rutted up by the time SXS's got our turns in the rotation.  I'm always a bit cautious when entering a rutted turn in the Yamaha, because of the tendency for SXSs to roll over if they catch a rut wrong.  Nathan, in his single-seater RS-1 has a slight weight distribution advantage in that scenario and played it well.  He was ripping through those sections.  He gained 2 seconds on me in each of our first 2 runs.  So for the 3rd run, I was sitting 4 seconds behind.  I knew I had to hammer it if I wanted to make it up.  I pushed as hard as I could and made a couple costly mistakes.  Damnit!  Another 2nd place for the weekend.  I had a big enough points lead that I still took the overall win for the season championship.  Very tiring and very fun weekend.  Time for a nap!

gumby
gumby GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/27/21 12:42 p.m.

That is a fun pic of our cars in the staging lanes.

Congrats on the rallyX championship!

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/27/21 12:59 p.m.
gumby said:

That is a fun pic of our cars in the staging lanes.

Congrats on the rallyX championship!

Thanks!  I remember when I found your build thread and was blown away by what you started with and what was coming to be.   Hell of a build and hell of a Challenge performance!  Congrats to you!

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/28/21 8:02 p.m.

Rallyx pics


Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/30/21 10:36 a.m.

For my 2nd place finish at the Challenge autox, I won a fabric "KiniTop"!  In order to properly fit one of these, you need a roll bar, which is probably a good idea for this car anyway. Snagged an "I think it's from a Corvette" roll bar off the marketplace for $20 and it's looking like I can make it fit without too much trouble!  This picture shows a VERY rough fitment.  

im considering adding a pair of braces from the roll bar up to the windshield frame for rigidity. What do you guys think?  Is the windshield frame strong enough for this, or am I asking to crack the windshield?

java230
java230 UberDork
10/30/21 5:36 p.m.

In reply to Lof8 - Andy :

There is a thread on spyderchat (iirc!) where someone cut the windshield off. It has a small, but pretty beefy tube in the windshield frame. 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/30/21 9:53 p.m.

In reply to java230 :

Cool. I think I'll go for it. Worst case scenario, I'll have to replace a windshield and I can just cut those bars out if needed. 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/2/21 8:55 a.m.

Awesome drone footage from the last Firm rallyx!


spyder now has a roll bar. Kini Top has been ordered!

thashane
thashane GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/16/21 11:04 p.m.

Did my first Rally-X in the YXZ. IMO, Steward was spooked by a RZR the day before, and told me after my first run (in 2wd) "saw you on two wheels, two times. If I see you on two wheels twice again, you're out. You need to tone it down." The track was rutted hard damp clay, very sticky, so I dont doubt I was on 2 wheels, albeit not very high.

Sway bars really help hold the car down that much?

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