Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Parts. parts, parts

Parts off the Triumph are on eBay right now! This headlight and actuator motor set is in working condition. Need something else? Go here:

Here is the proud new owner of the old engine which was sold for $80 not moments after we got the thing out.

Future home of the odd fire V6

As Chief Paint and Body Detailer my next assignment is to clean and paint the engine compartment, if the rain doesn't get in the way. Tony was mumbling something about looking like professionals?

There she goes!


Instead of beer he drinks radiator juice now.


The conversion is a tight fit. My dad is here using some gentle persuasion getting the engine out. Tighter than a ducks ass in a sandstorm, as my friend Johnny would say.

Why is he smiling?

This past Sunday was major excitement as the old engine came out and some interesting discoveries were made...#1 Dual Exhaust!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

100 mile an hour boom-box or the “boyz in the hood” go racing.

There are quite a lot of things to consider when constructing a race car: brakes, suspension, fire and fuel systems not to mention an engine that will stay together at high speeds for 24 hours.

The one thing over looked or just totally ignored is a good sound system. I’m not talking about exhaust here. I talking a really great stereo system with powerful amplifiers and living room sized speakers. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I always seem to drive faster when I’m surrounded by great music. No Henry Mancini or Barry Manilow, I’m talking classics like The Doors, Rolling Stones (got some Puerto Rican gals just dying to meet ya!) Led Zeppelin. I want to hear Magic Carpet Ride, Born to be Wild, L.A. Woman. Give me real Rock & Roll!

Lucky for us this Tr-7 came equipped with an 8- track (yes folks, an 8-track!) player. For those of you unfamiliar with this type of device, please google. We have dumped the anemic door speakers and now are on the hunt for some decent equipment. We are limited to $500. for the cost of the car but there is no restrictions on the sound system We plan to install speakers in every open orifice in our beast so we may share our love of fine music with our racing cohorts while we trash their butts during the entire race. This will also make pit stops more enjoyable while our bevy of almost naked race groupies go-go dance to the beat of the true legends of music history.

Tony Lazzarini-Race Car Driver

Refuse to grow up and refuse to die!”

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The other TR7 and guard dogs

Brake talk

Tony, the only member of our team that actually owns a race car (1968 AMX 390) says: "the faster you go the faster you need to stop". With that in mind I have been researching a way to make this TR7 stop properly, the 7's stock brakes are pretty feeble. There are many different setups available for the car but almost all of them way too expensive!! TR8 rotors and calipers bolt on but the calipers alone cost over $250. There is a volvo 4 pot caliper set up with ford escort vented rotors that has been done, again too muchy money! I have settled on Capri II calipers with TR8 rotors and Triumph TR6 ceramic pads. It all bolts right on! Found some used (new to me) rotors for free on the website, kragen has some rebuilt Capri calipers for $27 bucks each and I found some TR6 ceramic pads for $37 buy it now on Ebay. OK for the fronts, the rear brakes should be easy as we have a Ford 9" diff that came with the car, ck the pads and hardware and make sure the cylinders don't leak and we are done! Total spent $91. Brakes are considered safety equipment and are not counted toward the $500 total.

I put the old Buick engine parts on various Craigs lists and have so far sold the HEI distributor(odd fire model and RARE! Jeep guys like them) for $40 and have the old block and intake manifold with carb listed for $80, a guy for San Jose is coming to take a look Sunday. So that's $120 bucks for the old busted engine and I think there is probably another $100-$150 worth of parts on the race car that have been stripped off and will be sold on Ebay and Craigs list. The original sears 8 track stereo will stay, Tony had the idea to put some speakers in the tail light holes so all those we pass on the race track can get a load some creedence clear water or maybe a little deep purple.

Sunday we will swap the engines and maybe even get it running, we will also try to guess the differential ratio by making a mark on the drive shaft then rotating the rear wheel 360 degrees. The number of drive shaft rotations should give us an approximate ratio. If the ratio is 3.73 or above the 13" wheels currently on the back of the car won't do. With the three speed turbo 350 trans the top end will be the shits and the revs will be way too high, blow a rod high, float the valves high! So maybe some 15's on the back and keep the 13's up front, really exaggerate the wedge affect! We will see.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Beast...2 of 10

Thanks Rick for the nice Odd fire 231!!

Rick (from somewhere within 30 miles of Santa Rosa) is responsible for getting our little project well under way. I saw a post on Merced Craigslist some time ago, with 231 V6 as the search criteria. (Our Triumph has 231 with a bad rod) After chatting with Rick several times on the phone we decided to take a look. The owner of that beautiful 77 Pontiac Ventura is his son, he got it from grandma with less than 50K miles or so the story goes. After the front crash it was parked and sitting for a year.
We got around to turning it over, Rick assured us it was a "good runner", with a goodly amount of staring fluid we got it started and in the process starting a small under hood fire! My bad!! I should know NEVER spray starting fluid on a running engine! Rick raced out from the car and took off his jacket and doused the flames! After a bit the engine smoothed out and ran perfectly. We agreed $200 was fair with delivery included and shook hands. If anybody needs parts for full size Pontiac Bonnevilles, circa mid to late 60's Rick is your man, he also has a 66 GTO 389 4speed!! Its NOT for sale. Nice running low miles odd-fire 231 engines don't grow on trees (GM only produced the engine for 2 1/2 years before changing to even-fire 231's), most have been snapped up by the Jeep guys to upgrade their old dauntless 225 odd-fire engines. A link to some Buick V6 history here

The Beauty...1 of 10

Havana, CA?

It's been a while since I've hung out in the old hood and my Dad remembers this guy from back in the day. We are assuming two things here...that all these cars are owned by one person and that the owner is at least a 75 year old man but the identity of the owner/s remains a mystery. Spread throughout a 1 block radius from this red house are 10 pre 1960 Dodge, Plymouth, Mercury's and a beautiful Studebaker Commander. The street is this guy's garage. Every single car is registered with current parking permits. Just moving these cars for street cleaning would be a full time job! A quick look on Google Satellite reveals no cars in the backyard but I'm sure this guy has 5 more cars laying around that we missed including 2 in the garage. He must be the bane of the neighborhood but nowhere outside of Havana, Cuba can you see such a glorious collection of 1950's American automobiles parked on the street. Should some of these cars be in a museum? Maybe. Definitely worth a Jalopnik DOTS special SF edition. Do you hear me Murilee?

V6 close up...

The Donor

The heart for the little Triumph that could comes from this heap. A 1977 Pontiac Ventura in Santa Rosa that got banged up by the owners son. The conversation on the drive back centered on possibly registering the Triumph, currently the car is not in the system at all. Maybe we should hold off on that until after the race, the car could just be scrap anyway. If that happens my dad wants to save the engine and drop it into his '80 TR7. Another issue, we're all ass backwards on entering this thing. It probably should have been get team together, enter race, buy and prep car, win race. Right now we're at car & 4 drivers and we're not even sure we're in the race! I'm gonna be bummed if we don't get in. What the EF am I gonna do with the car? Maybe get it registered and turn it into my daily driver? I could sell my '81 Fiat Spider to make room in the garage. Can I go through the car pool lane on the Bay Bridge with only 1 person because I only have one seat?