Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dramatis Personae

There has been a change in the driving roster. Ron "As Seen On TV" Bauer has had to back out due to work related schedule confliction. Bret "The Artful" Dodson has moved in to take Ron's place in the drivers seat. I believe I saw Bret smearing Crazy Glue on the seat of his pants before climbing in so it'll take explosives to remove him.

This is going to make for some messy driver changes at the track.

We have also lost our chief mechanic. She has moved on to other projects (pictured) and will only be available for French muffler bearing tightening as her schedule permits. Doug is now the official Chief Mechanic and engineer. :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Saturday Doug, Scott and I (Alan) got together to work on the Peugeot again. It was another one of those "2 steps forward, one step back days" in many ways but when the day was done we (or at least some of us) had made significant progress.

I decided that I was going to try to make a hood scoop for the intercooler using a scrap piece of aluminum from Sean's shop (any metal without what the aerospace guys call a "cert" is effectively scrap so there is a good supply of metal sheet lying around the shop) despite never having used a sheet metal brake or the air-powered "nibbler" before. However I had once spent 3 months working in Sean's aerospace machine shop so I thought "how hard can it be?". Well that turned out to be like a monkey at a computer wondering how hard can it be to write like Shakespeare. I have to say however my design was an elegant one, simple yet functional and requiring only three bends with the brake. With help from Scott I got the pattern cut out and proceeded to do the first bend perfectly. Unfortunately I got cocky at that point and clamped down too hard on the aluminum. My next bend was going fine when all of a sudden I heard a crack and all the tension went away. Yup, I had bent the aluminum too much and snapped it like someone bending a paper clip too many times. Dejected I decided to try again. Once again the first bend went great and unfortunately I repeated the same mistake I made the first time, revealing that I am a) an idiot and b) should leave the bending to the professionals (Sean).

Thankfully Doug was having better luck at the other end of the car. We were worried about the wheel bearings so Doug pulled both axles and repacked the bearings. Thankfully the bearings appeared to be in good shape despite apparently being the ones that had originally came on the car from France! Not too surprising given how big each ball-bearing was, it looked like a string of pearls in a circular bearing race.

Scott decided to tackle removing the rest of the A/C and ID'ing and fixing the numerous vacuum leaks we knew the car had. Once he had wrestled all of the A/C hoses out of the way and removed them we discovered that two of the vacuum hoses down in the bowels had broken off. Thankfully without the A/C in place both hoses were now too long so Scott simply cut them off and re-clamped them. Scott also removed the cruise control but not its associated vacuum source because he was not sure if it served another purpose or not. We will have to figure out this week whether we can steal the CC's vacuum source for the blowoff valve but as our '85 manual doesn't cover the '88's vacuum hose routing we'll have to depend on the wisdom of the Peugeot list. I am a bit worried that we may have more problems in this area so I think we'll make sure to bring plenty of hose to the race just in case.

So all in all another successful weekend. I'll have to get Sean's help this week with making a new scoop (out of steel this time) so we'll be all prepared to cut through the hood next weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mentioned on Cold Track Days too

Wow, now that we've been accepted to the Thunderhill 24 Hours of LeMons race word is really getting around the Intertubes. In addition to Jalopnik we've now also been mentioned on Cold Track Days as well! Guess this is that mythical "15 minutes of fame" they always talk about!

That's cool but frankly I'm not looking forward to the "years and years of infamy" we'll have to endure after the Peugeot leaves parts scattered all across the track at Thunderhill :-).

We're on Jalopnik!

Earlier this week I submitted a tip to Jalopnik on a potential Lemons car in Wisconsin (a Bristol 408), i suggested it might also fit as a subject for Jalopnik's "Project Car Hell" series.

I signed the email withthe tag line "a Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey - comming soon to Arse Freeze-Apalooza!"

That triggered a response from Jalopnik's resident saucy minx, Murilee Martin. Shortly thereafter the story linked below appeared.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We're In!

Sean received confirmation from Jay Lamm that we've been officially accepted into the 24 Hours of LeMons! Apparently they had over 200 entries and could only take about 80 so our wise (ok, it was crazy at the time but it seems wise now) choice of car made the difference! Now all we have to do is work our butts off for the next 10 weeks to get the car ready and we're all set! Well of course except for the actual driving in the race part, can't wait for that and our chance to show America just what an old hunk of bent-up French iron is capable of!

Monday, October 20, 2008


We got a lot of work done on the car today. We have also unanimously decided to name the car "Pujo!".Unnecessary wiring has been removed and the motors and regulators have been removed from the doors. Brent went to town with a Sawsall and the doors are now about 10 pounds each lighter than they were before. Some vacuum issues were discovered in the engine compartment. Apparently French vacuum lines crumble into dust after twenty years. Go figure. The wheels have arrived from Tire Rack so I can start fabricating spacers to allow for the funky Pug offset and bolt pattern. Doug's roll cage is coming along nicely. It'll be SCCA legal when he's done and would be at home in any self respecting World Rally car. Hmmm, I wonder if Jay would consider putting on a LeMons version of the Dakar rally? :-)

New photo page created

I thought it would be interesting to have more photos than just the few that we have on this blog so I've created a new photo page here. The cool thing about the new page is that I can update it from my iPhone so we'll be able to post real-time photos from the race itself. Is that cool or what?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Snug as a Doug in a Pug

Nice seat mount Doug! I'm glad this falls under safety, it looks way too nice to be part of this piece of merde! :-)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Making Progress

Today Brett and I came over to Doug's place to test out the Peugeot's race seat location and to get some work done in preparation for installing the cage. Brett couldn't stay too long but Doug and I made lots of progress anyway. First step was to get the sunroof and it's mechanism out of the car as it just took up too much headroom. We'll put the sunroof panel itself back in place once the cage is in, probably by attaching it with several aluminum straps but for now it's a lot easier to have it out. The sunroof actually turned out to be pretty easy to remove, perhaps half an hour and 10 bolts and it was free!

Since the sunroof wasn't much of a problem I tackled removing the driver's window and mechanism so Doug can cut out the door for the cage. While I was doing that Doug removed both rear brake calipers and figured out what was holding them up and reinstalled them on the car. The bad news is Doug thinks we (or the previous owner) damaged the pistons in such a way that the e-brake won't work very well but we're not likely to need that for the race anyway.

In addition I removed lots of miscellaneous bits and wiring related to the parts we'd taken off and so it's starting to look more and more like a real race car. There still is a lot to do and less then 3 months to do it in so I suspect there will be a lot more work parties before we're done but we're making progress!