Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Finishing Touches

Some video of the final additions to the paint job: http://www.vimeo.com/3263739

Off to the track to shakedown on Friday afternoon.

About a week left, hope nothing else goes BOOM!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New bits and a 45 minute paintjob

Some in car video from the testing sessions. Nothing very interesting happens, but you can see my terrible hand position on the wheel compared to Jeff, and the wiring harness from the dash floating in the air every time the car goes into a hard left hand turn. Also have a look at the shifter moving all over the place when it's supposedly "in gear".


So the motor blew up on Sunday while testing at CSP. Jeff pulled the car into the pits about 10 laps into the 3rd session of the day and the car was only firing on one rotor. We pulled the plugs and found zero compression on the rear rotor. Cause of failure is still under investigation.

So we did what any all-American patriots who love their country would do...load that beeotch on the trailer and go home to pull the motor out.

2hrs and 45 minutes after the engine failure: http://vimeo.com/3233475

By last Wedsnday we had both motors out and were preparing for the install.

Motor out of both: http://vimeo.com/3233655

Today we finished the install of the good motor and tranny, got her buttoned up and took it out for a trial run.

The new motor flyby, top of 4th gear: http://vimeo.com/3233723

We got done with the install and testing a bit early so we decided to prep the car for it's Delorean paint job.

Prep for paint: http://vimeo.com/3233781

Sanded...8 minutes later: http://vimeo.com/3233821

Painted...maybe 15 minutes after sanding: http://vimeo.com/3233855

Another productive weekend! In two weeks from this post the race will be over and we will find out how the little time machine did.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Check one two, testing, testing!!

Yesterday we had a great opportunity to head out to IMI, a karting track by Erie, and run the Lemons car for a few hours. I have to be honest, I was about85% sure that SOMETHING was going to break during testing. This car is 29 years old and hasn't been in running form for at least 5 years and we were about to take it out to a track and flog it repeatedly.

I'm happry to report, however, that nothing notable went wrong during the testing session. The car ran well, the suspension worked to the best of it's 29 year old ability, and the car ran a rock steady temerature at 180-185 degrees. Our main concern with this car was overheating and it looks like we have done enough to adress that issue sufficently.

Next up, Sunday we head to a much larger and faster track for what will probably end up being our last chance to shakedown the car before the big trip. Fingers crossed that everything survives.

Monday, February 2, 2009


So we have been working feverishly on the LeMons car trying to get it suited for a shakedown day at one of the local road courses. In the past two weekends we have finished the cage, installed the larger fuel pump and regulator, mounted the seat in a way that might not get us killed or worse, installed the Hawk brake pads, removed a lot of weight, and put on the new tires.

It has seen very limited runs around the neighborhood just to get a feel for things and make sure it doesn't overheat in the first 2 minutes of the race.

We have two shakedown sessions this week. One on Friday at IMI which is a karting track outside of Denver and the other will be done at a short road course used by the stat patrol for testing purposes. After this weekend we hope to have a good field test of the car under our belts and hoepfully not blow anything up.

More progress


A flyby testing of the car. Not legal. Not recommended. Not endorsed by any major political groups.


Our vented hood idea.


Our tail light solution.


Our seat modification process.


Back in your hole!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wow-it's been a long time!

I guess you need to click on the pics for the larger versions. The blog doesn't display the whole thing.

It's been a long time and a long road but we are back baby!! After being disappointed that nowhere in the 2009 schedule was the LeMons coming within 1100 miles of Denver, we applied and were accepted to the Houston Gator-O-Rama LeMons race on February 28th - March 1st. Since we were accepted on December 22nd it has been a mad dash to get the car prepped and ready for the race.

We have a majority of the required parts installed as of this week. The roll cage was installed with the help of a few friends over the weekend so I snapped some pics:

More updates to follow. This weekend is sure to bring more items to be crossed off the list.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Getting Closer

Over the last two weeks I have been able to put a few hours in on the car. As you saw in the last posting we received the rebuilt carb, so it was the next logical step to get this car on track to race in October. Last weekend I was able to remove the old carb, get rid of the emission stuff, remove the intake manifold, and loosen the exhaust system parts. I found I needed to replace the intake manifold gasket, carb gasket and order a few block off plates for the emissions stuff I was taking off. In addition the exhaust bolts that hold the muffler section were too corroded and the rest of the exhaust couldn't be removed until the muffler section was taken out. I tried for about 36 seconds to cut the pipes with a hacksaw before giving up and making a trip to my grandpa's garage. Enter Mr. Sawzall today: exhaust cut and removed in two shakes of a lambs tail (apparently that's fast). I love that thing! There must have been 60 pounds of exhaust pipes under there!

After the quick task of removing the exhaust system I spent a while trying to put back together the pieces of motor I tore apart last weekend. You can see the difference in the new carb without all the emissions crap and the old one. It's about half the size and weight of the old carburetor. My challenge now becomes to block all the vacuum lines that aren't needed anymore and reconnect the lines that are still needed to the correct places. You have to remember, this car was built at the height of emissions complexity and being that the rotary isn't know for being the most emissions friendly of motors, Mazda had to add so much in the way of actuators, vacuum lines, valves, and other madness just to get the car to pass the emissions standards of 1980.
It's my job to take all that crap out for two reasons: One, we want the car to be as simple as possible. That way if something goes wrong at the track (which it always does) hopefully we can locate and fix the problem in decent time. Second, we want the car to run as efficiently as possible and make the most power. Over the 28 years that have passed since this beauty rolled off the assembly line all the vacuum lines, rubber diaphragms in the actuators, and various other parts and pieces have been eroding away in the elements. Vacuum lines crack and leak, diaphragms become hardened and don't work as designed. All this leads to poor performance and potential problems during the race. We want to get all this stuff removed and get down to the simplest version of this engine that we can.

While I have been working on the carburetor and related parts I have noticed that we seem to have a new problem. The fuel pump no longer seems to want to do it's job. It used to be really loud and pump the carb full of gas within seconds of turning the key on, now I get nothing. Further diagnosis is needed in this area, but it is safe to say the car won't be running till we get that problem resolved.

As of now the manifold is reinstalled, carb is in the car, the header is installed, and the vacuum lines are still a mess. I need to do some research is week and figure out what goes where and what goes in the dumpster. Then its on to the fuel problem. Just for grins I tired to start the car using some carb cleaner, but to no avail. My guess is there are far too many lines that need to be plugged or reattached before it will even run for a second or two.

On a different note, we are starting to acquire members of our race team for the October 24 Hours of Lemons. So far we have myself, Ian Armstrong, Jeff "the hotfoot", and Mike Morten. It's looking like we will have the 6 drivers we need plus a few crew members coming down to the race with us in October. We will all be contributing to the car in both monetary terms, time spent wrenching or retrieving beers for those who are wrenching.

We are getting closer, but there is still a long ways to go.