Friday, August 31, 2012

Beat on the Street: Tracer Pack Mule

This Escort's Tracer's roof is not only carrying a full size refrigerator; its also supporting a dishwasher and a bicycle thrown on top for good measure. I don't have a Tracer owner's manual nearby but I suspect this load far exceeds the rated roof carrying capacity.

Hat tip to intern Dan for snapping the pic.

Legal Disclaimer: While BB endorses the abuse of automobiles, please properly secure all cargo. I do not need to be dodging your fridge on I-275.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Remove the Rustiest of Brake Rotors

After sitting for two years the brake rotors on project Miata were solidly fused to the hubs. They were also badly warped and needed to be changed. Armed with a twenty pound sledge, propane-oxygen torch, three jaw puller and a lot of profanity, I was able to break them free. Here's how I did it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chia Neon Leaves it Mark at MIS, the Full Race Report

VIR was so much fun we had to race with ChumpCar again. So, we slapped a fresh set of brakes and tires on the Chia-Neon to tackle the high banking at Michigan International Speedway. It was a roller coater ride for the Latch-Key Kids. We led the race, battled near the front, tackled mechanical issues, and then I ran into the wall. Full report after the jump.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Marketplace Feature: Rare but Worthless Renault Caravelle

The Renault Caravelle is like a French Karmann Ghia but not as desirable. This Renault has been on Detroit Craigslist for months and finally the seller has added some fuzzy pictures to generate interest. From the rust in the pictures, I can see why they might be counter productive. The underside must have holes like a Kwame Kilpatric cover story. Previous ads listed a price of $1100 and some suggested swapping the running gear into a less rusty body. I've always disliked the idea of parting a running car but most likely the body is beyond salvaging. For a few hundred dollars, this could be well bought parts car.

Detroit Craigslist Ad posted 2012-08-21

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How not to remove your windshield

Most of the time I enter the garage, I successfully accomplish my tasks. Frequently things take longer than I'd like. But once in a while, the going gets so tough I want to strangle puppies. Removing the windshield from my Miata was one of those times.

Monday, August 20, 2012

How to Rattle Can Your Wheels Without Looking Completely Trashy

Top Right: as received. Bottom Right: stripped. Bottom Left: Primed. Top Left: Painted
Project Miata came with a set of oddly light 14" rims that I really wanted to use.  In their favor are the facts that they're light, I've got a bunch of 14" tires laying around, and I like the shape.  The downside is the ugly clear coat that's pealing off and corrosion that lies underneath.  These wheels need an eye popping new color but I don't want to spend any money.  Details after the jump.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Project Miata Gets Hurculiner'd

My project Miata is a true roadster so the interior will be permanently exposed to the elements.  This is not an environment for carpet.  So to prevent rust and keep the interior looking slightly presentable I gave it the pick-up truck bed liner treatment.  Details after the jump.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Latch-Key Kids ChumpCar VIR Full Race Report

Last weekend we hauled our veteran 24 Hours of LeMons racer to ChumpCar's 24 hour classic at Virginia International Raceway. The Chia-Neon was far from home facing a crowded field full of local talent and plenty of horsepower. Yet, we managed to hold our own and had a great time doing it. Full report after the jump.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

In the Garage - Foolish Aquisitions - FA Vauxhall Victor

Fueled completely by jealousy of the Latch-Key-Kids blistering VIR all weekend in the Chia Neon without me, I was forced to act out. Perhaps dumber than buying the Falcon that is still in Australia, the non-running yet solid bodied Simca that I can't bear to part out, or the Fiat 124 with no floor or roof, I believe I have outdone my own abilities by agreeing to purchase a 1958 FA Vauxhall Victor Super for the princely sum of $300. This dried-blood colored British hulk has been sitting since Princess Diana was a kindergartener and somewhere in it's 40,000 miles of travel since it left the Pontiac dealership, it managed to part with it's motor...likely towards the end. The real rub is that it's 1800 miles away, patiently waiting for next year's travel adventure.

How it gets back and what happens to it when it arrives is for later. For now, I will just marvel at my two pictures of the only FA Vauxhall I have ever seen and the only solid 50+ year old English car I've laid eyes on.

Ideas for the future include the following:
  • English themed gasser, Sir Gasalot, with a solid front axle and Rover 3.5
  • Bone stock looking, ratty drift car with a 283 V8 and three on the tree, with tall bias plies and Detroit Locker
  • Put it back to stock (unacceptable, sub-Simca levels of performance)
  • Track day car with EcoTech LNF motor and 5 speed
  • LeMons Racer sorry, can't bear it

Ideas for how it gets back is another matter. Opinions on either topic are encouraged in the comments.