by on Jul.16, 2010, under Photos

Soooo….. what has been going on since Oregon Trail Rally?  WELL, we started by replacing our bent rear end with a straight one… new spindles, bearings, brake lines, rotors, etc.  Then did a standard prep (fluids, plugs, cap/rotor, strut bearings and mounts, check bolt torque, and some other minor things).  We finished all of this and got the car back together at 2:00am… we were supposed to leave for North Nevada Rally only four hours later at 6:00am.  In standard tm/FM form, we had to take it out for a late night test session.  We made it about 3 miles from my house when the car lost power and would not restart.  After a long walk home through the pitch black mountains, we grabbed the tow rig and got the car back into the garage.  A few more hours of troubleshooting, and we realized that we would be forfeiting our entry to North Nevada Rally.  We thought about pushing the car out of the garage and lighting it on fire, but decided to just go to sleep.

We had suspected a broken crankshaft, but a bit of troubleshooting would disprove that theory, and put a major damper on our rally plans.  What we found was the keyway on both the crank and cam timing belt sprockets completely sheared off.  After pulling the head and seeing that all the valves were bent to shit, we also found a few cracked pistons.  We rallied the piss out of this thing…. damn.

With Idaho Rally a month away, we formulated a plan to swap in a junkyard motor so that we wouldn’t have to miss another event.  Finding junked Mk2 VWs in San Diego is not an easy task.  Removing the tranny and motor from a Mk2 VW for the first time without proper tools is not an easy task.  We worked hard and did many late nights in the garage, but hit a ton of roadblocks and just couldn’t get the car together in time for Idaho.  The final blow was opening the head gasket set and finding the intake gasket missing, going into the weekend before the Monday that we were supposed to leave.

Three days late, but we finally have a running motor after even more roadblocks; brand new plugs fouled after only running for a few minutes…WTF?!  Steve was very excited, and documented this moment here:

We are now faced with the task of putting the front end of the car back together, rechecking all bolts, and tuning this thing.  Hopefully we’ll get at least one good test run in before our next event, Gorman Ridge Rally during the weekend of August 27th.  RALLY!

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