Goodbye Voodoo Brakeonomics

Whose car is that, anyway? It's just another dented-up LeMons racer.
The original ABS master cylinder and booster from ATE was a magical device waiting to curse us. We replaced it with a dumb, reliable one from a Mustang SVO.
Stickers all over our car were for a lot of products we didn't actually have. There's no Hilborn fuel injection in our carbureted racer, though we did use Aero wheels.
Almost completely free of stickers, we're close to ready for a new theme that will help us stand out on a crowded track.

Our Lincoln’s original antilock braking system dates back to the Reagan era, when ABS was still in its complicated early days. Not having the proper voodoo skills to figure out how it actually works or the economic liberty to repair the system, we wired the electronics to bypass it as best as we could.

No one really liked the idea though, and the whole system both confused and frightened us when we considered the speeds reached on a half-oval setup of some Chump Car races. This black magic device had to go.

Thankfully, Ford made a similar car that year: the Mustang SVO. It had the same four-wheel disc brakes but with a good, old-fashioned master cylinder. Since our Lincoln is a Fox chassis underneath, a lot of Mustang parts swap over.

A trip to the junkyard got us a used vacuum booster with the right bolt pattern—the ABS master has a strange electric booster with some kind of accumulator and other weirdness—and a local parts store sold us a rebuilt brake master for $22. Soon we’ll run the vacuum hose and all the lines, but for now, we’re just happy to have stupid and bulletproof brakes.

After installing that, we took on our inability to be recognized. When we zoomed by on track, it was hard for anyone to be able to tell that the black car covered in stickers was indeed ours—or anyone’s. It just sort of disappeared in the mix of dented rust heaps. We haven’t finalized plans for a new theme yet, but we did take the first step: We began removing stickers.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more project updates.
View comments on the GRM forums
SPG123 Reader
12/23/11 2:41 p.m.

May I humbly suggest an homage to our 16th President. While he may have been slightly attractiveness challenged, he was an exceptionally capable man. 1 vote for the Abraham Lincoln.

reddragon None
12/23/11 3:29 p.m.

Automotive carpet top hats and magic marker beards would make great theme! 2 votes for honest Abe.

Junkyard_Dog SuperDork
12/23/11 5:07 p.m.

Cover it with woodgrain and call it the Lincoln Log.

Streetwiseguy PowerDork
12/27/11 11:27 a.m.

Losing the ABS was genius. Plus it may well save your life- there are few things in life scarier than arguing with electronics when they get the wrong idea.

I like the woodgrain idea.

turboswede UltimaDork
12/27/11 3:01 p.m.

Paint it white with the GRM logo all over it, ala BOSS sponsored Porsche race cars.

12/30/11 4:25 p.m.

The electronic brakes should have been deleted from the start with the other stuff that ruins driving. (What did Sabine say about the electronicly controled 'Vette?) Too bad you don't have launch control. Remember when Top Gear had the fake sponsor race cars? (one word when the door was closed, another when it was open [Peniston]) You get the idea. You can work a Lincoln tribute like that (coln log) right over the woodgrain.

Sponsored by

GRM Ad Dept

Our Preferred Partners