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2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure Reader
10/20/15 1:36 p.m.

I have a tool to lock the cam gears in place which I'll bring along. I also have a harmonic balancer puller but I don't expect that's necessary.

Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel HalfDork
10/20/15 4:00 p.m.
Dusterbd13 wrote: Will try to when I'm not posting from cell phone.

when arent you? :P

Tuna, I'll email you tomorrow and get some better details. (I can not remember if you have my cell or not.)

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UberDork
10/20/15 4:43 p.m.

http://forums.neons.org/viewtopic.php?t=318202

Has pictures of the bolt trick.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure Reader
10/20/15 8:23 p.m.

Plans A, B and C are in place. Car is loaded and ready to move out.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
10/21/15 9:25 p.m.

Didn't see you, so I hope you're nearly in Gainsville. The phone is on if you are stuck and nearby.

MCarp22
MCarp22 Dork
10/21/15 10:08 p.m.

David made it to Nashville OK. We swapped wheels and he's spending the night.

Also, I don't think the headgasket is bad. He made it all the way here without losing any coolant to speak of. The recovery tank on these tends to leak under high G loads, and the smoke puffs reported at the trackday were likely from the PCV.

Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel HalfDork
10/22/15 6:50 a.m.

I was going to say, I heard nothink from noboday. Good luck at teh challenge if you dont need to stop in G-vegas.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
10/22/15 6:53 a.m.

Great news!

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure Reader
10/27/15 8:14 a.m.

Challenge wrap-up

The event was fun from start to finish and despite a few early hiccups, one of my own making, the car ran trouble-free. On the way down to Florida I would typically stop to stretch every 100 miles or so and about 300 miles from home I was merging onto the highway after a stretch and the shifter disconnected. With the car stuck in 4th I pulled over and checked under the hood thinking one of the cables had disconnected at the transmission but that was not the case unfortunately. That left me no choice but to pull the center console out of the car and inspect the shifter. I quickly discovered the right side cable bushing had collapsed and disengaged from the pin. Fortunately I had the two booger bushings I hadn't used yet with me, so the repair was straightforward and I was back on the road. That evening I pulled in to Mike C's place to swap wheels. He's a neon encyclopedia, and I enjoyed his company. When he decides to mount a challenge effort it will be a good one since besides knowing his way around a toolbox he can drive. Day two of the drive was pleasant in that it was uneventful. I pulled in to the host hotel and parked next to a BMW which was up on jacks and receiving a graphics treatment. This was the Bangalore wreck racing squad and these guys were very cool. Not only did they bring a nice car but their truck was packed with two Yamaha sport bikes for blasts through the tail of the dragon. I was so excited about arriving I promptly locked my keys in the car and was immediately reminded of how I arrived at the 2002 challenge; requiring help from the staff. I found that help in Gary and Ed who helped me with an initial effort to unlock it ourselves (abandoned due to fear of breaking the window) and then calling a locksmith who handed me my keys about 45 seconds after arriving. I happily paid the fee. Friday was a long day. I got the car to the track and prepped for early runs. I was way under-tired (all seasons) so there was really no strategy other than put a pro driver in the car for the first run to get a time than putter around a few times myself. The pro was Dan Shields and I went with him on the run. It was a hoot and about 8 seconds faster than my best.
Thanks Dan. For the remainder of the autocross runs I watched the fast guys in action plus got to see Al Unser Jr drive a car or two.
He was my favorite driver during his Indy career, and I especially enjoyed races when he beat Michael Andretti (not my favorite driver).
Mike C had given me some advice on tire pressures for the drag race but I forgot them. No matter since I had never drag raced before and was predictably terrible at it. The first run was full of wheelspin and poor shift points. The second was a little better but at 17.2 still very slow. That was it for me though because the NHRA official noticed I was wearing shorts and told me that unless I found some long pants I was done. That suited me as I was tired and it was getting dark so I called it a day. Day two started at the car wash getting ready for the show. When I arrived I was placed right beside Nelson's bug and knowing how much the GRM staff liked the car I hoped they would judge it before mine and I'd get a slight "coat-tail" effect. They liked my car, commenting on how clean it was but since it lacked innovation or personal touches it scored low (8 out of 25).
That score along with my race times put me in 36th overall (counting exhibition entries). Given my 2002 result this was a victory and I'm very happy with it.
The Bangalore wreck team convinced me that a detour through the tail of the dragon on the return trip should not be missed, so I went and they were right.
I drove it twice and not surprisingly bumped into the guys enroute. The final day of the return trip included a detour in Kentucky to score some good bourbon and I rolled into my driveway around 6:30pm. That closes the book on the GRM challenge. It was unfinished business and now that I successfully completed an event I don't think there will be another unless I'm part of a team. Thanks again to Mike, Brian, Gary and Ed who pitched in when I needed a hand.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure Reader
3/16/16 11:31 a.m.

I was going to sell the car, but after watching it sit all winter I'm keen to do a couple of track days. Gingerman is hosting SCCA track night starting in June so I'm in the middle of a front wheel bearing swap. I noticed there was a lot of free-play in them, especially the right front. I also removed the EGR system and had a friend at machine some aluminum block-off plates for me. I think I have a small oil leak around the crank seal but if it stays small I'm not going to worry too much about it. I'm pondering whether I should put some good rubber on it and take it down to Gainesville again this year. With good tires I think I could move up the order, a little...maybe. I'd like to put some money back in the budget but there's barely anything on this car valuable enough to sell without taking a performance hit.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure Reader
5/26/16 11:42 a.m.

Got the ACR out to the track yesterday attending the TNA event at Gingerman Raceway in southwest Michigan. It was a very well-run event with all classes running on time and novice meetings after each assigned session. Had fun chasing a Mustang GT in session 1 and a Viper in session 3. This track is holding TNA events every month through September, and I'm hoping to get to all of them.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure Reader
5/26/16 8:17 p.m.

Oh yeah, and in addition to replacing the wheel bearings, the car has new control arm bushings leftover from the challenge parts bin and a new TTi long tube header. Brakes need attention and it would be nice to ditch the various brands of old tires currently on the car and get some fresh rubber.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure Reader
7/27/16 12:07 p.m.

I'm prepping for another TNA event this afternoon. I wholeheartedly recommend this experience, I have had nothing but fun. The car has new front rotors and track pads and the bite is worlds better than the low grade stuff that was on it. I still have a long pedal problem and have replaced everything but the booster to fix it. That's next, after I pull one from the local LKQ. I've brought my lap times from the 2:20's to the 2:07's over the last two events so with the more-capable brakes I'm hoping to get close to 2:00. The tires are the same mismatched geezers that came with the car but I'm not inclined to spend any money on tires this season. My neon mechanic friend pulled the A/C components out of the car last week so that's about 25lbs off the front so at least that takes a bit of stress off the tires.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
7/27/16 12:14 p.m.

Glad to see you kept the car and re continuing to enjoy it!

I've never driven a neon but the love on this board for the ACR has me looking for them on CL on occasion.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure Reader
7/28/16 6:07 a.m.

In reply to cmcgregor:

Mine will be for sale in September, if you're interested.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
7/28/16 8:51 a.m.

My wife might actually murder me if I bring home another car but sure, let me know when you're ready.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure Reader
7/28/16 3:57 p.m.

Will do.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure Reader
8/20/17 3:30 p.m.

There is a possibility I might be bringing another neon acr to the challenge in 2018. It's too late for the 2107 event and this car at $2000 won't leave me a budget for any of the unexpected problems I had with my first one so keeping it under budget will be the biggest obstacle. It's rough cosmetically, but packs a serious turbo swap the owner claims will run with a little poking and prodding. We'll see.

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