tm/FM may actually make Gorman Ridge Rally this weekend…

by on Aug.25, 2010, under Photos

It’s 2:00am… Steve and I just got done with ANOTHER long night working on the car… but we have some good news…

…let’s recap first though… In the last 3 months, we have:

  • Won 2nd place overall in Group 2 regionals at Oregon Trail Rally.
  • Won 4th place overall in National 2WD at Oregon Trail Rally.
  • Won novice driver/co-driver of the event at Oregon Trail Rally.
  • THEN… destroyed a motor.
  • Missed North Nevada Rally.
  • Pulled a VW motor and tranny for the first time.
  • Missed Idaho Rally.
  • Dropped in a junkyard long block.
  • Struggled to finally get it running.
  • Dropped the tranny AGAIN to fix a clutch issue.

…ANNNND we finally had everything back together!  Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the thing to run under load.

Now that we are caught up;  In order to make Gorman Ridge Rally, we need to have the car tested, prepped, packed and on the road this Thursday.  We agreed that today would be our last effort to try and make the race this weekend.  It feels like the bad is starting to overshadow the good… not funny, not fun.

Tonight, after FINALLY resolving an issue with a Motronic sensor, we got the thing running GOOD!  And after dialing in the motor, I GOT A TASTE… OHHHHHHHhhhhh I forgot what it feels like to get sideways in a little front wheel drive car… incomparable!!  My motivation has been replenished.

When this dirty piece of shit got done belching out clouds of black smoke from crap that had built up while sitting outside for over a year, it slowly started to remember how to breathe.  I revved the piss out of this thing… 7,000rpm in 5th gear for quite awhile!  It tops out MUCH faster than the old “race built” motor and feels like it pulls way harder on both the bottom and top end.  It does seem to be lacking mid range torque, which makes it really hard to fight the brakes up front, so I think there is going to be a lot of mid corner downshifting if we get on stage this weekend.  Hopefully, we will get to find out!

After getting back from our test drive, we discovered the engine compartment and underside of the car covered in about a half quart of gear oil.  It looks like the final drive seal on the passenger side of the transmission is leaking.  This is a show stopper.  According to the manual, these seals can be replaced without dropping the tranny.  Wednesday (now today) is our last day to try and get this leak taken care of.  The plan is to see if our friend Charlie @ Charlie’s Garage in Ramona can take care of us… neither of us want to touch this car again until we have helmets and fire suits on.  We are about 75% go for this weekend.  I’m tired.

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