Monday, October 27, 2008

Spray Paint Therapy

I needed to get away from the finicky engine and clean out my spray paint shelf.  I went with the half full cans of orange, "real orange" and an "apple red."  

Happy engine & rooftop carburator

The engine is coming along and seeming happy.  I think I've done everything right.  I've been able to reuse the gaskets except for two o-rings that didn't seem like the right size to begin with and an exhaust gasket that got crushed.  It's been weird not dealing with valve covers etc....I kind of like this rotary engine thingy
 Kragen is still giving me %10 off so I'll be picking up a $30 rebuilt water pump tomorrow, thermostat and belt.  It looks like I need a water neck.  There do seem to be some cooling issues with this car.....luckily we're racing in December.

oh and then there's the roof top of carburator......

Friday, October 24, 2008

What I've been up to

Well, I've torn apart the engine.  All the water channels were filled with rust so it's a good thing I took a look.   The engine actually looks amazingly good all things considered.  The gaskets look brand new, the apex seals are good, nothing cracked and everything looks okay - except for the tar around the rotors.  It looks like the engine was rebuilt at some point before it was put into dry dock and it also looks like they poured oil or some other viscous fluid in the plug holes in order to "store" it and over 8 years that oil turned to solid resiny goo.  Oh and there's some mysterious shavings that I'm going to ignore.  So, I'm putting it back together and we'll keep our finger crossed.  Oh and we'll need a 
-water pump
-spark plugs
-the clutch looks ooookay..... well, we can't afford to replace it - so we might accidently bring a spare with us.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

oh crap...we're in the race

but the engine is out
For those of you reading this who aren't actually on the team -  we're entered in the 24 Hours of Lemons "arse-freeze-apalooze" and 24 hour endurance race that requires you spend $500 or less on your car.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Back up plan - The Soccer Bomb

Not that I'm doubting a certain RX7 in any way but

if worse comes to worse - I've heard that Liisa, Paul, Rhonda, Eric, George and Dennis have a "friend" who might let his 91 Toyota Previa go for $500.  It only have 245,000 miles on it and one accident.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

We've Submitted!

Well it's official, we've submitted our "application" to race in the 2008 24 hours of LeMons Arse-Freeze-Apalooza.  Here's how our submission wound up.

     Why should you accept The Southern Californian Small Car Social Club? 
Well, really, we're not qualified to repair a car, much less race one, but we do have mad licensing from a gamut of authorities. Does this make us cooler than other groups? Well, yes, yes it does.

Sean Duffy – dad/artist
Food Handler’s Permit (expired), Picture Framer’s of America Certified, Donkey Basketball License, in 1970 met Steve McQueen , James Garner and Ms Hurst Shifter.

Rhonda Rodgers – rebel/loner
FCC radio operators licensce , FAA certified flight instructor’s licences, has connections at McMaster Carr, State of Texas EMT license (expired), is rad

Dennis Nishi - Cornpaw
High School Literary Editor (deposed).NORBA (North American Off Road Biking Association) race license (expired), Owns a torque wrench, Hunter's safety license (expired) Saltwater fishing license (expired), horse mounted samurai in a major motion picture movie

Eric Tseo – enthusiast
Infant CPR certified. NAUI junior scuba certification (expired), Webelos scout in good standing, optical guitar pickup (inventor), virtual reality head tracker(inventor), and the 5 wheel bicycle(co-inventor), Member of the Blackberry Crash Testers Adventure Racing Team,
Top Secret Clearance (innactive)

Paul Alioshin – R&D and D&D
Top Secret Clearence (denied)

Liisa Pine – welder/clown suit owner
First place, Westlake Cheerleaders 1974, Up With People cast "A", 1983-1984, Red Cross CPR and First Aid certification (expired), Forklift certification (expired), SRL fabricator and machine operator since 1992, United States Parachute Association "A" license, American Welding Society Certified Welding Inspector.

George Cook – ninja/not a ninja
US Adventure racing association licence (expired), Advanced PADI Scuba Diving License, Ninpo Taijutsu Blackbelt (Rusty) - A gibbon once stole his hat.

So, if during the race you need to know how to handle a sandwich, fly a plane, give cpr to a baby, pearl dive or climb a fence with a rifle –We are the team for you!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

inspiration - movie paint jobs

   I've been into copies of copies for a while now and think the way to go for a paint job might be to just copy a movie race car.  You've got Steve McQueen's Gulf Porsche from Le Mans.  It's an amazing paint job but from looking over the Lemons site it seems pretty common.
   So, what about James Garner's car from Grand Prix.  Classic, simple lines and we've already got a white car.
   Maybe, Paul Newman's from The Winners.  I haven't seen the movie but that is an awesome paint job.
   Or the Thorndyke Special from The Love Bug.  It couldn't hurt to be a bit villainous.

something to think about

Monday, October 13, 2008

The First Meeting

Sunday was the first meeting of the SCSCSC and it went pretty well.  Dennis, Rhonda and George showed up at the Duffy estate and we put in a good day of wrenching.   We got the clutch working and took the hood and a door off and worked a bit on our application.  Oh and the engine is still frozen... but we did have really, it was all good.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Owned By an Aircraft Mechanic- pts 1-3

     Out here on the edge of the Antelope Valley, the old hub of the aircraft industry,  you often see "previously owned by an aircraft mechanic" or "engineer" or some kind of technician in a $500 car add.  It's never "previously owned by a meth lab technician" or "deranged survivalist" which would be more likely.
    So when the seller for the RX7 proclaimed it was "owned by an aircraft mechanic" I took it with a grain of salt. Sure the car seemed clean and tidy but I wasn't convinced until I found.
1. Stack of various aircraft oriented business cards, FAA hotline numbers and shipping weight charts (but really doesn't everyone have one of those)

2. The Xanadu - I nearly threw it away thinking it was just a broken hockey stick.  But it's actually a handcrafted rear hatch holder with a custom rubber tip.....nice.

3.  The tidy pile of fast food wrappers.  In the glove box under everything was a McDonalds bag filled with neatly folded other bags and wrappers, some still glowing with grease after 8 years in the desert....super nice.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

inspiration - Brown Rainbow

After a bad car day there's nothing better than thinking about a paint job.  I was leaning toward a 60s look but then started thinking of the awesomeness of the 70s and 80s rally car.  AND THEN came accross the Mazda brown rainbow.....perfect.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bad first day

Since getting the car over the weekend I haven't really had a chance to work on it.  Saturday I was bitten by a black widow and I've been a bit groggy and achy.  And that made me clean out the car as best as possible, no more spiders!  Monday was an art day and  Yesterday I had to go to UCR to give a talk.  So today was the first workin' day.

So, I started by going to Kragen picking up a battery and hose.  The older guy at the counter was quizzing me about the car and wound up giving me %10 off.  I usually find Kragen a bit madening, but they are right around the corner and hey %10.

So I get the battery in add some oil and water.  I put the key in the ignition and it just floats around.  It won't move and doesn't seem to fit although the same key works on every other part of the car.  So I oil it, fiddle with it, beat on it and finally take a drill to it and finally it turns to the start position.  The motor turns a couple times and then seems locked up.  I need time out.

On the plus side
-One headlight popped up
-the door buzzer works
-Kragen is not so bad

-the engine won't turn over

sad captain

Monday, October 6, 2008

Comfortize Thyself!

It has been done.
On Sunday October 5th I made an extremely low offer of $300 on a 1979 (or maybe 80) Mazda RX7 and it was excepted!

We just need to get it running and safe by December 26th.  How hard could that be?  It's only been sitting for eight years.  And the guy who runs the storage lot it was abandoned at was pretty sure it came in under its own power.  Easy

So far it needs
a battery
radiator hoses
brake pads

-Surly Captain