Final Gear Racing 2012/2013

watto

Unloved and lacking a title
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
6,003
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Car(s)
2013 Holden Cruze SRi Series 2
This has certainly been an entertaining thread to trawl through! I remember still being super active when you guys did the first LeMons race, great to see the progress you've all made. :)
 

Punisher Bass

He who drives a Buick
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Messages
3,342
Location
St Louis, MO
Car(s)
98 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
This has certainly been an entertaining thread to trawl through! I remember still being super active when you guys did the first LeMons race, great to see the progress you've all made. :)
Thanks, but I don't know if I'd call it "progress", a smart person would have gotten out of this circus years ago.
 
Last edited:

mephistoscafe

Active Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Messages
100
Location
Granger, IN
Car(s)
2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T
Wow. I have no idea what happened but I stopped receiving e-mail updates for the thread. I wish I was still in Jersey so I could bomb down to MD for a weekend to lend a hand.
 

Punisher Bass

He who drives a Buick
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Messages
3,342
Location
St Louis, MO
Car(s)
98 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
I know I mentioned this car in last years thread and then it was kind of forgotten about, but I have new info on it. Hopefully you remember the radial airplane engined MR2 that did about 1 1/2 laps of a race last year before the chain drive exploded, which really wasn't a big surprise to its creator Marc. Well he's spent the last year reworking and refining the design and hopefully making it more reliable. I couldn't even begin to tell you exactly what he's done, all I know is that it involves some sort of transfer case, a 55lb flywheel out of a diesel truck, and a bunch of other stuff, a lot of designed and machined by Marc himself. Here's what the engine bay looks like currently, I'll leave it up to you to figure out what's what.



And he posted new videos of it today, one if it running and the other of it actually moving under its own power for the first time a year.



If you want anymore details, I suggest you just read over the thread on the LeMons forums, it's a long one but totally worth it. http://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/viewtopic.php?id=4861
 

EyeMWing

Forum Addict
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
5,247
Location
MD, Amish Country PA
Car(s)
Odds sods and turbos
I've explained this car to a few people recently, so here's the rough summary of the powertrain:

Engine (with the propshaft facing the front of the car) => Ford V10 flywheel (and Cummins turbodiesel starter) => custom propshaft flange =>BMW driveshaft giubo (rubber bit that absorbs shock) => Mitsubishi 3000GT transfer case (inverted internally so the power comes out the opposite side with opposite normal rotation, redirecting the power onto a straight-down vertical) => world's shortest driveshaft => Honda Goldwing final drive (customized, providing another 90 degree turn to point the power towards the rear of the car) => all sorts of custom shenanigans => Subaru flywheel => Subaru clutch (with some Kia bits to make it work) => Subaru transmission => Wheels.)
 

Punisher Bass

He who drives a Buick
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Messages
3,342
Location
St Louis, MO
Car(s)
98 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
The Radial MR2 should be racing this weekend, from what I've read it will be loaded down with various cameras to capture every second of it's (hopefully long) time on the track. But that's not why I'm here today, no no, today I bring word of another 3800 powered team about to make their LeMons debut.

Some months ago I caught wind of a rookie team on the official LeMons forums who were looking to get into the series. That alone is nothing out of the ordinary, but it was their car that caught my attention, a 98 Pontiac Firebird with a 3.8 and 5 speed stick. So I began stopping by their forums and offering advice and tips/tricks where I could to help them along. They're going with a Bob Ross theme and I can't wait to see how they do this weekend. I also hope the MetSHO ends up making an appearance as well.



And finally, I have a new picture of the Sgt Schultz Mercedes being converted into a Cadillac.

 

Quiky

Beep Boop I'm a Robot
STAFF MEMBER
Joined
Aug 21, 1995
Messages
5,534
Mini update; the new motor is in the GTP, and it runs. Working on the electrical gremlins at the moment due to the wiring harness being caught in the inferno.

Todo:
Finish cooling system
Finish Exhaust
Replace the seat
(eventually) Replace the cage.
 

Punisher Bass

He who drives a Buick
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Messages
3,342
Location
St Louis, MO
Car(s)
98 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
I just wanted to leave a small note here. While my partner in crime had to pull out of the Summit Point race due to the CVPI cracking its engine block, Final Gear will still have a presence at the race this weekend even if it is a rather small one. EyeMWing hitched a ride with none other than the 2011 Drunken Camp Chair Toss Champion DC Doug and his Ford Galaxy. Also at the race are our old friends Team Fubar and their GTP (with a freshly rebuilt trans) and Dave Morrow with his SC Series II powered Buick Reatta. Hopefully the Olds Delta 88 that also had an SC Series II swap will be showing up again this year, it'd be nice to see a hat trick out there.
 

Punisher Bass

He who drives a Buick
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Messages
3,342
Location
St Louis, MO
Car(s)
98 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
I was right about a trio of SC 3.8's showing up (more on that in a second), and Quiky decided to go spectate for a few hours today. According to him, Fubar came back into the pits after a half hour of racing, thankfully it wasn't another blown engine, just a power steering failure of some sort and they were back on the track not much later. And EyeMWing also apparently had some problems during his stint in the Galaxy, the power steering went out along with having a radiator hose blow out on him. That's all I know for right now.

Now as for the triple SC 3800 assault taking place on the track. The Olds Delta did indeed show up for the race, but for some reason Phil called it a Buick Park Avenue Royale Brougham, and there are so many things wrong with that...



First, Park Avenue was the top trim level for the Electra, eventually Park Avenue would become the flagship model and the Electra name would be discarded.
Second, Buick NEVER used the term Royale Brougham on anything, ever.
Thid, wiki says the Electra of the late 80's could be had as a coupe, but I'll be damned if I could find a picture of a FWD version.
Fourth, Buick's of that era had hoods that opened forwards, its Cadillac and Olds counterparts opened normally but Buick wanted to do something different, and it made working on the car a real pain in the ass.

Last year the car was sporting a different paint job, no hood scoops, and no hood ornament.



And yeah I know, I'm one of maybe 3 people who would catch something like this and the only one who would feel the need to point it out.
 

Quiky

Beep Boop I'm a Robot
STAFF MEMBER
Joined
Aug 21, 1995
Messages
5,534
Saw that car on the track briefly, was pretty discrete.. nothing worth mentioning.

There was a fifth generation grand prix on the track, notable for spinning out.


Someone got lost and ended up on the track;


EyeMWing behind the wheel(?);




Captured some video, but it will take some time to process it. Need to get a new firewire card to pull the video from my HDV camera..

And to note, it is so much easier to show up and spectate.. participating is tough as hell.
 

EyeMWing

Forum Addict
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
5,247
Location
MD, Amish Country PA
Car(s)
Odds sods and turbos
If it was Saturday, chances are extremely good that the person driving in that photo is me.

We had an AWFUL weekend. 110th place at best, something like 27 laps overall.

That said, I LOVE the Galaxie. It's the best thing I've ever driven. It creaks and pops and groans and crackles and makes all sorts of disconcerting noises. It leans like a capsizing battleship through corners. It isn't terribly fast. But it is VERY shouty. It doesn't have an exhaust, it has Thor. It stops credibly for a 3800lb beast. It steers totally unlike a 3800lb beast. The way it holds the track is unreal. It's a living, breathing character with a rollcage. The Galaxie, however, does not love me.

Here's part 1 of the summary:

First driver gets in for the green flag. We notice a massive power steering leak. A bad fitting. We replace it and run.

We hear from another car on the team (I was with the Speedycop clan, which meant we had 7 cars) that they'd passed the Galaxie and it was billowing smoke.
Back a few minutes later on the tow truck, expecting catastrophic engine failure or something. Fortunately, it's just that the replacement P/S fitting hadn't been suitable and had disconnected entirely and puked all the P/S fluid rather quickly across the entire engine bay. A different replacement goes on.

I go in. Car runs great. I get acquainted with the car and refresh the track in my mind for about 3 laps. I see a black flag with a number, pointed in my general direction. I have no idea what the hell the car's number is, so I pit and ask. "115... And you've got a leak!"). Turns out the radiator isn't secured and leaned backwards, shoving the upper radiator hose directly into the alternator pulley... Which features a fan blade. A new upper radiator hose is fashioned using two unrelated radiator hoses and a plastic coupling.

I go back out. This is awesome" I think to myself as I round the Big Bend before the front straight with the pedal smashed firmly against the stop, "I should switch to race mode and see what I can really do"
I approach the braking zone for the 180 degree left hander at the end of the straight doing god-knows-how-fast (the speedometer was rather thoroughly buried, but I don't trust it anyway) and get on the brakes... There's probably (I don't remember it) a thud and the pedal goes to the floor. "It's an old car. They do that. Pump the brakes," I think. But I know I'm lying to myself - the car has a completely refreshed, modern two-circuit braking system with bloody Wilwood 4-pistons on the front and discs in back. I pump anyway. Nothing. "Fuck it, I can't screw this up any worse", I think, and jam the automatic trans into 1st gear, slam the visor on my helmet, steer in and mash the loud pedal.

As an inexperienced, untrained drift driver, faced with a serious attempt at drifting with very big consequences for failure, and doing it all in a '67 Ford Galaxie, I think I did pretty damned good. I dropped the front inside corner over the apex curbing (!) and slid the entire rest of the way out across the track and smacked outside front hard into its curbing before sliding off into the grass. For several seconds, I couldn't believe what the fuck I'd just done and couldn't think what to do next, and the car just idled along in the grass in 1st gear. Then I remembered that I was off the track and that I should stop, and tried the brake pedal. Nothing. Then I remembered what the hell was going on and smacked the kill switch.

While I waited for the tow truck, I kept pumping the brakes just to occupy my time and lo and behold, they came back. There was nothing immediately apparently wrong, except the master cylinder was low. The assumption was just that I'd been driving wrong and managed to boil DOT4 brake fluid.

We stuck the next driver in while I changed my pants. It wasn't long before he was back. I don't know if he even made it to the track it was so quick, but the brakes sounded like terrible metal-on-metal and the alignment was visibly off. Severe toe-out and positive camber on the left front. The reason for the brakes became readily apparent, and the brake failure diagnosis quickly changed from "EyeMWing driving like an idiot" to "Oh, shit."

The Wilwood front brakes use a hot-swappable pad design - you don't have to take the caliper off to replace the pads. Instead of being held in place by the caliper, the pads are held in by a safety pin. This pin was nowhere to be found on the front left, and neither was one of the pads.

That was a quick fix. Then we adjusted the alignment all the way to the stops... And didn't even make a dent in it. Something must have bent, but we couldn't find it. We had an independent set of eyes come look, and they quickly spotted that the right lower control arm was bent fairly substantially, probably when I went sideways across the curb. Being a 1967 Ford Galaxie, this meant we were out for the day to think of the best approach to solving the problem.

Late that evening, a verdict was reached and a plan formulated. Heat it, bend it, and weld reinforcement plates to it. Here was the setup:

Control arm sandwiched between a 6x6 wood block and the lifter arm on the back of a rollback tow truck. The rear of the tow truck was entirely supported by the control arm, so it wasn't going ANYWHERE.

Liberal application of oxygen and acetylene ensued, followed by some strikes with a small sledgehammer.

Fortunately, nobody died inhaling the half inch thick layer of oily crust that burned off.

Reinforcement plates were welded on and beer quenched, but reinstallation of the control arm was delayed until morning due to the onset of Saturday Night Partytime. Ever seen a boat do a burnout? Ever seen a boat do a burnout into a parked car? I have.

I'll be back later with the Sunday recap.
 

Punisher Bass

He who drives a Buick
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Messages
3,342
Location
St Louis, MO
Car(s)
98 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
I haz a sad now.





While the retaining wall took a nice bite out of it, the Buick did bite back, I'm told the concrete broke from the impact.

There is also this video of the twin turbo Vic crashing in the same area.


Apparently there was a level of destruction not seen since 07 when we first got into the series.
 
Last edited:
Top