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.

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