Monday, December 22, 2008

Stressin over the rain

100 shitboxes goin around a track in the rain bumper to bumper with speeds up to 80-90 MPH??!! I actually don't mind a little weather, I started driving at 13 on the farm in northern Minnesota. But what about all the noobs that are goin to be out there at any given time? Go fast inthe straights and slow in the corners and NO rubbin! The long term forcast is saying over cast with chance of rain Sat. and Sun. Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jalopnik post

We are in serious contention for the Index of Effluency award with our car. Here is a round-up of all the crap heaps in contention. Scroll down to #10 for our car. Unfortunately not many people are giving us much of a chance...but something they don't know is that all the Lucas Electrics on our car has been replaced by SAUL Electrics. He's the little known Norwegian bastard stepchild of Mr. Lucas. HA!

Odds and ends

Finishing up all the little stuff before the race including installing the air cleaner, roll bar padding and kill switch.

A trip down memory lane

Here's a pic the former owner gave me when we picked up the car. Sorry about the poor quality but it's a photo of a polaroid. I imagine it was taken some time in the early 80's just after the conversion. This is probably the maiden voyage with the new 231. Happy times. The owner has just picked it up from the garage and he's getting a pic with his buddy in the passenger seat. His buddy is rockin' a serious feathered hairdo and a printed shirt. He's looking down because he's busy chopping some lines or rolling a joint for the ride. Little do they know the owner is gonna throw a rod in the next couple of days. But for now it's summertime and life is good. In the background is a lady standing next to her busted Ford Pinto? wearing a tube top. Maybe one of these guys got lucky with Pinto lady since they have such an awesome ride.

Yellow thingee

Some bright yellow thingee that Mike bolted on...

5 speed manual install

My dad got busy with the all important 5 speed gear shift knob installation. (Note: The transmission itself pulled out of a '79 Olds Sunfire to be installed at a later date.)

Engine Mounts

Mike got the engine to mount properly and now it's level and sits further back and lower. The painted L brackets in the pic were fabricated to hold the 231 when the car underwent the conversion sometime in the 80's. When we replaced the engine last year we never could get the mounts to catch the L brackets properly so now we got mad Mike to get all crazy on that shit.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stay tuned for more updates!!!

The car is currently residing on our teammate Mike's front driveway bringing some much needed class to his front yard collection of crap. Among other things he's fixing the engine mounts which were not seated properly when the engine went in last year. The engine now sits 3/4in farther back and a little lower. Excellent! Mike has been taking before and after pics and copious notes with technical jargon that befit his meticulous nature (he's a former IBM technician who was with them when they built typewriters!). He is very serious and is striving for absolute perfection, bringing some much needed standards to our team. Keep up the good work Mike!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A shot of our new oil cooler installed over the weekend, the lines will attach to a block just ahead of the oil filter. I could not resist the wood shim and hope to get a rise out of the Lemons inspectors at Thunderhill. Its a trans cooler out of a Ford explorer.
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Unauthorized Fiat (fix it again tony) Work

Here is the rear treatment of Mayuko's Abarth bumper conversion, with usual supervisor present.
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We're in

It's official we've been accepted for LeMons Thunderhill '08!!! As usual I was stressin' about getting in. We've been putting a lot of work into the car after our dismal Altamont race and not getting to race it at Thunderhill would have been really weak. I guess we might have tried to fake the papers, turn it into '75 TR7, get it registered and turn it into a daily driver. That was one of my dad's harebrained schemes anyway. With over 200 entries and only 100 spots I was close to totally losing it and emailing the organizers about our status but cooler heads prevailed. I mean it is a Triumph after all. Barring any French entries we could take home the coveted "Index of Effluency" trophy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Spring things

We have been racing several solo events this summer, and our car handeled like a pig with no makeup. So I talked with TR7 Sean(he has a very fast stock TR7 and is ranked in the top 3 of his class) about handling, I decided to buy and install some of his spares, 200# front lowering springs and KYB struts. I think this combination will make our 231 Buick engine sit pretty. This weekend we will fabricate some front brake coolers, adjust the new shoes in back, install the oil cooler, and r/r igniton wires. Mayu and Mike will be on hand as well as the canine quality control supervisors inspecting all work. A new trainee inspector Yuki will make an appearance as well, photos later.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Another view of the modification


Here is what they look like on. The bumpers are mounted on a spare piece of tubing that fits into the existing bumper hole. I drilled a hole that matched the diameter of the tube into the bumper and glued it on. Dad thinks the glue won't hold so we may cross drill it with some screws. The fit is a little gap-ish, it's really hard to match the curve of the fender and it took a lot of sanding and checking. I'm going to fill in the gap between the body and bumperettes with some black caulk and then paint the whole thing black because the finish on the bumpers is a little worn. Next week the back bumpers which should be waaay easier than the fronts.


This Sunday we got around to putting the "Abarth" bumperetts on the Fiat. These were $14 off a Triumph Spitfire that was in the local pick n' pull. The one on the left has already been trimmed to fit the car using a razor blade and disc sander.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fiat work

After sorting out all the business with the Triumph, clean and coat the gas tank, rebuild the carb, yank some spare parts off the TR7 in the junkyard and some autocross testing the car runs like a top. What to work on until Thunderhill? My Fiat of course. I'm going for the Abarth look without the $$$. The solution was to yank the bumpers off, cut the springs, pick a set of turn signals off a '82? BMW 633csi and cut some bumper overriders off a Spitfire from our local pick and pull. The turn signals are a nice fit considering the holes are a curved parallelogram, I will post an update once the bumperettes are on. I had to drill the lenses on from the front but it doesn't bother me too much.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Some more SFW pics

After that carb excitement the paint job on the interior and roll cage seems dull.

Carburettor p0rn

Work continues to banish our fuel problems once and for all. Luckily Mike has all the free time in the world and a neighbor with fancy vocabulary to do this kind of are his notes

File # DSCF0451 shows the left venturi with a rough ring of casting flash in the "vena contracta"(the narrowest and therefore most effective part of the venturi profile, if it is smooth). I have smoothed off the other venturi to enhance air flow.

File # DSCF0491 shows the air jets of the venturi cluster. I have smoothed one and the other one is still original.

File # DSCF0506 shows the both polished venturis and venturi cluster just sitting in position.

File # DSCF0517 shows a brass tab that is holding the idle cam and preventing it from moving freely as it was originally intended. It is needed to provide a permanent stop position for the throttle linkage.

File #'s DSCF0519 -520 and -521 show a sequence of blocking the float bowl vent with screen,then crankcase breather filter and then safety wire. Not necassary if we were using a normal air filter.

All other aspects of the carburator are right on the money by the book. Enjoy the pictures.

p.s. The "vena contracta" thing came from my magna cum laude, engineering degree neighbor up the street.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Post Race Work

After getting our appetites whetted at Altamont, we will continue race the TR7. Post race work involves Mike doing a proper rebuild of the carb and testing it on his car, getting the rust out of the gas tank and coating it. painting the interior and another set of wheels and tires. I've joined the SCCA and we're planning to autocross it on July 21st at the Coliseum. The car is at my dad's house just down the street and although the car has no registration, plates or lights I think we can just drive it over there and not have to deal with the trailer.

Friday, May 16, 2008

More Photos here...

The Flickr gallery



Our spirits were dampened by the passing of a fellow racer Court Summerfield from Team Cant Am, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. All in all the TR7 handled and braked well, and it ran well before the fuel/carb problems sidelined us Sunday. We finished a measly 56 laps for 81st place :( On hindsight I think we could have benefited from some pre-race testing but we were working on the car right up to the day before the race. The photo above is what our car looked like for most of the race. All the haters were right, but I didn't see too many other um, kinda English cars out there. A great time was had by all except my dad who didn't even get to drive! He's promising to take that carb off and shoot it with his 12 guage. The reactions to our car ranged from stunned silence to "is that a Fiat?" Dope slap! With a roll cage in this thing we are committed to this car for better or worse. Undaunted we are gonna try to enter Thunderhill in Dec. Things to do for before then: 3 wheels & 4 new tires, new carb, pusher fan, roll bar padding, boil out and coat gas tank, new tie rod & lower ball joints.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thats capital "R"

Our Triumph is finally starting to gain some "Real Racecar" characteristics. This is mainly in the form of stickers which are good for like, at least 5 horsepower.

Another development my dad and I drove out to Livermore and scored some 205/50/15 Kumoho Ecxta tires and wheels for $100 bucks off of Craigslist.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Graphics update

Along with a bunch of nice 70's style stickers I've been collecting off eBay over the last month we have a totally boss windshield sticker courtesy of Gene at Ark Sign. He hooked us up with a discount in exchange for an advertising spot on the car. Thats right folks we're sponsored! Contact Gene at 415-922-7446, located at 1101 Post St. in SF. Other crap to go on the car...

Vintage Giants bumper sticker:

Sparkly Star Wars:
And K-Billy super sounds of the seventies:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Chuck welding

Last Saturday we got started on the roll cage, chuck is pretty handy with the mig welder and will be welding it together, my welding looks like turkey turds so I will help cutting and fitting the bars. This roll cage business difficult and exacting work, at this point I almost wish I would have taken tony's advise and had some pros do the work. There is some added urgency now that the race is a little more then one month away.
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Welcome to the team Mike!!

Our newest team member Mike is taking the place of the other Chris. Mike and Tony go back over 35 years and between the two of them have huge amounts of experience prepping and racing cars. Mike has had that 1968 Pontiac Le Mons coupe for 40 years!! Sweet! The main focus today was fabricating the muffler system hangers and the plan is to weld in some glass pacs Monday. Mike brings some needed expertise and craftsmanship to the Wedginator team! He will add more on his bio later.
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Mayu's 1981 Fiat spider a lot lower!

You have to admit it looks a lot better lowered.
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