Sunday, February 6, 2011

Good news, everyone!

If you didn't say that in Professor Farnsworth's voice, then I pity you.
The head came off this morning and I am pleasantly surprised.

So clean!  The nasty head hid a nice secret.  There are no carbon deposits, scored cylinder walls or any damage that would make me believe that the rings are in bad condition or that anything was amiss in the inner workings.  The fact that the pistons look in such good condition and that honing crosshatch is still visible makes me think that the engine was rebuilt sometime in it's 23 year life, a welcome revelation.  How in the world so much grittiness saturated the engine, I have no idea, but thank goodness for oil filters.  The oil passageways on the left are full of nastiness still.   I'm trying to figure out how to remove it, but that's not too big of an issue.  I was then preparing to give the contact surface a quick clean and buff to prepare it for reconstruction, but my drill is currently with another good friend who is using it to assemble his new fish tank, so I gave everything else necessary a quick once over to make sure it's all there.  The newer head is still clean and has been so infrequently run since we rebuilt it that I would consider it still newly rebuilt.  Intake and exhaust manifolds are still fine too.  A new set of pushrods, manifold gasket and head gasket are waiting in the wings.  I didn't get to final assembly today like I wanted to, but it's not difficult and I should be able to get it all together this week and prepare for the next phase of cleanup for the car: wiring!
Now I'm off to see this superb owl everyone keeps talking about.  It must have really pretty feathers or something.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Getting a "head" of the game

Ha ha, bad pun.  But still...
Despite being frozen like the day after tomorrow, work did continue on the Gremlin.  All manner of connections, bolts, and baubles were removed and the manifolds and valve cover are discarded to the scrap pile.  What I found underneath was disconcerting to say the least.  This supposed well kept daily driver was coated in enough gritty, nasty grime to choke a goat.  Look for yourself:


Looks like it went to the beach and got buried in the sand by unruly children.  I think Ejeflyichicajookawhatever volcano blew up into the oil fill cap.  Reminds me of a Louisiana beach in late 2010.  I was contemplating just replacing the petrified valve cover gasket and leaving the old head on the engine for fear that the other head would over-stress the piston rings, but now I can't imagine leaving this chunky salsa covered thing on.  Imagine all that sandy crud breaking loose and circulating around inside the engine, blocking passageways and causing mayhem.  Gahhh  *shudder*  We've had enough mayhem for quite some time, thank you very much.
I didn't get much past that, as I was distracted by a good friend I hadn't seen in a while.  And a movie concerning CGI owls.  I have ADD.  Ooohh....pretty colors!
The head bolts have been loosed and the head is ready for removal, but I'm leaving that for tomorrow for fear that I might ruin the rest of my evening depending on what I find underneath.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Back to work

I have returned from Brazilian lands afar and have I have dived back into the Gremlin.  Since the engineers who designed the newer versions of the 258 engine decided to move the location of the timing marks to where the alternator used to be and thought it was better to make a happy trail of belts leading to the new alternator location, I spent most of the day fabricating and modifying things to fit the alternator back where it was on the old engine and return to a one belt system.  Phew... long sentence.  I'm happy to say that the alternator slots right in to where it used to be courtesy of a new water pump, lots of dremeling, and a slightly smaller belt.  Tomorrow I replace the head and hopefully start her back up!  Followed by wiring, followed by exhaust, followed by other crap that will probably break along the ay.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Work Begins Anew

The Gremlin has a working engine in it right now (I know, right?), so what's the first thing we're doing?  Tear it apart!

Yup, that engine is missing a water pump....and some various other things.  The engine transplanted from the Eagle is relatively the same engine we tore out, but is somewhat more complicatedly assembled.  Brackets and belts and compressors...Oh my!  We're devolving the engine to mid 70's tech by taking off the myrad of belts, emission control, and "computer controlled" carb.  There is some modification needed to bolt on the old, simple alternator bracket versus the huge complicated hunk of aluminum I removed.  Seriously, the alternator was run off of the A/C compressor.  Screw that. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Year, New Plans

Welcome to 2011 and a new 24 Hours of LeMons season!  We've had some problems, some false starts, but 2011 is going to be our year!  We're going to hit the Gulf Series and hit it hard!  Well, not that hard.  We're missing the first Houston race.  The team has forbid me from entering a race without the car running.  Seems fair since we went to No Problem Raceway with a car that I thought was inches from running and we ended up with our 36 hour, award winning slog.  Then over Christmas, he HOA sent a letter informing me of the need to move the two Jensen Healeys from the driveway currently awaiting Lemonization.  They're covered at least, but I guess that's not enough.  So that's what I'm working on right now, getting the car squared away and appeasing the home owners association.   The goal is to make the Gremlin fully operational and combine the Jensens into one running car.  Make plans for the upcoming races to cheer us on and enjoy the spectacle that is LeMons.
Here's the 2011 Gulf Coast schedule:

February 26-27: Gator-O-Rama - MSR Houston, Angleton TX
April 23-24: North Dallas Hooptie - Eagle's Canyon Raceway, Decatur TX
June 4-5: Garrapatas Peligrosas GP - MSR Houston, Angleton TX
August 13-14: Cain't Get Bayou - Circuit Grand Bayou, Belle Rose LA
October 1-2: Yee Haw It's LeMons Texas! - MSR Houston, Angleton TX
December 17-18: Heaps in the Heart of Texas - Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth TX

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Some pictures from Lasseiz Le Crapheaps

 The dragstrip is unusually beautiful at night.

Riding dirty and hopped up on Four Loko probably

The heart of the beast

 Wait, where's TDC again?

She lives!!

 Luke seems weirdly happy for 36 hours of no sleep

To Tech inspection! 

 John approves of the radiator ventilation system

Judge approved as well

Had to jump start it each time

Waiting patiently to see if it actually finishes a lap

 Success!! A standing ovation!

A happy, tired, dirty, but award winning LeMons team.

To see more pictures, see my Flickr page.
Substandard Racing Photos

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An awesome write-up on our epic fail/win

Thought I'd post THIS, an exclusive look at our Most Heroic Fix win at Lasseiz Le Crapheaps a couple weekends ago, written by none other than the benevolent Judge Phil.  A few details are wrong, but it's stuff that Phil didn't know so no fault of his.  We got a longer write up than either of the winners!