Thursday, December 25, 2008

Road Tripped

Had a little trouble on the way to Thunderhill this morning. Hit some black ice near Dupont on I-5 and spun off the freeway into a gully. We rolled at least once. The truck is almost certainly totaled. The trailer looks like a refugee from trailer park attacked by a tornado. The race car looks like it's been beaten with baseball bats and crowbars, but it survived. It ripped free of all of it's straps and landed on its wheels on the wall of the trailer. It wasn't fun, but I limped it home under its own power after the wreckers towed the remnants of the truck and trailer away.


Somewhere underneath this wreckage is a rather startled little French car. Notice the checker board "wall" that used to be the "floor".

Nice lift kit, huh? I'll be all but invisible in Kent now!

Broken and battered, Aunt Bea held onto her dignity, refused all assistance and drove out of the ditch under her own power. No kidding, that is one seriously tough truck.

Ignoring the law, Bea hitched a ride anyway.

The trailer was a little spartan, so we spruced it up with this festive mobile made of fuel jugs!

Red paint smears from Pujo! are on every interior surface of the trailer except the floor. Pujo! must have felt like a drumstick in a bag of Shake-n-Bake. (credit to Bret Dodson for the comparison)

"Open other end"

Don't worry about being gentle, guys. WE'VE ONLY WORKED ON THAT CAR EVERY WEEKEND FOR THE LAST 6 MONTHS!!!

"For sale, 0ne pace convertible car hauler. Minor cosmetic work required. A real bargain!"

No humans were harmed in the making of this film.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ok, this isn't funny any more

We're going to be on the road to Thunderhill in less than 24 hours and there's currently 12" of snow on the ground. Getting to California shouldn't be too difficult, returning to a city that's under a mile of ice and overrun with marauding hordes of Cro-magnon cannibals and herds of mastodon is going to suck though.

There's a frozen raccoon under there somewhere. I know it.

Shannon was very nearly an avalanche casualty, fortunately there was a St. Bernard on hand to dig her out.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty apes!

You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

We started this venture as wee little Rhesus monkeys, not even worthy of shampoo testing. But through this adventure, blessed with moxy and opposable digits, we have matured into ApeRacers.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Did you know Old Man Winter was a Peugeot club member? I didn't.

It would seem that Winter is conspiring against us. Over the last week we have seen, as the weather forecasters put it, "snow event" after "snow event". Temperatures have been in the mid-twenties for 8 days. WTF? We haven't had snow like this in 10 or 15 years! In the Seattle area Summer = warm rain, Winter = cold rain. The forecast is for more of the same through this week.

I'd like to take a moment from my Winter ranting to thank some our sponsors. ACE (Autocross and convertible enthusiasts) have generously donated 3 tires to our cause. Full Throttle Bottles has donated $100 towards race car fuel and a generous discount for whatever be(er)verages we purchase for the trip. ChaseRace built a most excellent roll cage, provided most of the labor on the build and put up with this piece d'resistance taking up huge amounts of shop space for months at a time. Autosport Labs for the lovely racing seat. Sea West Products, Inc. for providing all of the fuel for the tow vehicle. Thanks guys, you've made this project a lot less painful on the pocket book!

A special thank you to the womenfolk for tolerating and abetting this time sucking monster known as Pujo!.

And thank you to all of the Monkeys that have worked their tails off for the past 6-ish months. I guess that makes us apes now. :-)

Brianne's Jetta is resplendent in a lovely thick blanket of snow. Notice the 18" wheels buried almost to the axles.

I thought I parked Sally around here somewhere? Where'd she go?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Praise the lowered!

Scott designed us some spring clamps to effectively cut a coil out of our suspension. The result is about 2" taken out of the ride height.

I'm going to have to do some more pounding on the rear fenders. The tires are rubbing again.

We were so happy with the results of the lowering that we went for a drive in the Canadian Arctic.

After the successful cold weather testing we stopped in a random parking lot in Bothell to take pictures, sign autographs and answer the questions of our adoring fans.

The T.V. was my baby-sitter.

It's been a couple of days since we painted the stripes on Pujo! To my surprise a song popped into my head as soon as I walked into Doug's shop the other night. It was the theme song to Magnum, P.I.. For about a half hour it was stuck in my head and I couldn't figure out why until I looked at the car again. In trying to make our piece of junk a little more flashy for the track, I'd unwittingly painted it like T.C.'s helicopter from Magnum. That proves I spent way too much time in front of the T.V. as a kid!

Here are some other concept paint jobs that we considered before settling on our final version...

My daughter, Shannon, didn't like any of these and suggested we paint it like this...

I liked it, but I didn't have the skill to paint it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Logo idea

Now that I've found a material that I can print bumper stickers on Sean suggested that I make up something with a monkey-fied Peugeot logo but I wasn't sure my artistic skills were good enough to do that so I did a little Googling, found a monkey waving a white flag, pasted it on top of a French flag, added a little text and instant logo! Ok it wasn't instant, it actually took me over an hour to do but I think the results are pretty nice. Opinions?

So you CAN polish a turd!

Here's some photo evidence to demonstrate...

We had some inspiration from a Peugeot 405 Rallye car.

Then we broke out the well aged cans of Krylon.

Ta-Da! Turd polished!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Flair for the dramatic.

We discovered some clearance issues with the rear tires today. Doug heard a pretty solid scrape when he hit a pothole in a corner. We figured a little body work was in order.

Here's the result.

I did it with this. No kidding. :-)

Sadly, the other side looks like it was done by spastic chimpanzee with no depth perception.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oops, a moment of clarity

We were so excited to have the car running for a change that we forgot one minor detail.

Hood pins. Those are important, aren't they?

Oh, well. Nothing a little contortion and brute force can't handle!

That'll polish out.

The joys of Peugeotnership

This question goes out to all of the Peugeot enthusiasts out there, you know who you are.

It's normal to find a river of brake fluid flowing from under a 505, yes?

Scott, in a valiant attempt to staunch the flow, intercepted the stream of fluid with his surprisingly absorbent beanie.

Fortunately it turns out that the Mystery Sphere is sub-reservoir that holds brake fluid under pressure to ensure the failure of this banjo fitting and was actually pretty easy to fix with a new O-ring.

Truth in Advertising

After working on the Peugeot for what seems like a lifetime I've come to realize that the original Craigslist ad was not so accurate and that even at $500 we still got taken to the cleaners a not-so-good deal. This got me to thinking what the ad should really have looked like if the seller had been totally honest:

1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo. In massive rear-end collision a few years ago, floorboards severely bent under the (soggy) carpet. To hide the affects of the collision a new trunk was shoddily welded on but not attached everywhere so it's loose. Worn out rear brakes, floppy front shocks and leaky clutch slave cylindar. Engine appears to run well once warmed up but the gaskets are shot, the PCV system is clogged, the turbo is only making 4 pounds of boost and the water pump is leaking profusely.

If you are absolutely bonkers or a masochist then this is the car for you! Sure it's only $700 but guess what it's still a rip-off at that price because this car will suck your wallet dry no matter how big it is. I might accept a little less but I'll still be laughing all the way to the bank. Suckers!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The French Solution to Plugging a Hole

Since Pujo! has such a fragile trunk, we want to keep any water from getting in and causing even more damage back there.If this one doesn't fit, I'll just have to drink until I find one that does.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Junk is the trunk

One of the reasons for Pujo! being acquired cheaply was the presence of past crash damage. We're not talking "Oh, it got banged into by a kid in a Civic" type of damage. This Peugeot looks to have been rammed at 60 miles per hour by a brakeless Peterbilt driven by a longhauler trucker coming down from a Benzedrine fueled cross country marathon. This damage has given Pujo! an articulated hind end.
It wiggles when you jiggle.

Sean demonstrated this to me by grabbing the back bumper and lifting up and down. The crack in the picture would visibly open and close! Not good. One tap from an amorous Audi could tuck Pujo!'s tail like a scolded dog. Fortunately we have some good welding skills on our team.
Pujo was a plumber at some time in the past.

The other side wasn't as obvious. But beneath the body filler lurked a similar crack.
Frankentrunk - look beyond the layers of bondo.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Untold years spent as yard art waiting for LeMons glory has a tendancy to rot the freaking hell out of degrade the brake and clutch systems of any car. During the hibernation, Pujo! developed a thirst for brake fluid. Unfortunately, no one could find where the fluid was going. Chief Hydraulic Monkey Scott attacked the problem with tearful resignation spunky optimism. While poking and prodding around the dashboard's nether regions, he dropped a nut and heard a hydraulic fluid-ey "Sploosh".
I think I found the missing brake fluid

A torturously long brief bit of wrenching produced an oozing Rube Goldberg-inspired brake and clutch hydraulic system.
Now what?

The fine folks at Peugeot have devised a way to tell any mechanic in the world to regardez the documentation before tearing into a mystery sphere.
Lire la putain de manuel!

Fortunately, we will be able to reuse the truffles fasteners that hold the brake and clutch systems to the rest of the car.
Did those come out of the ground?

Peugeot Sugar Daddy

Over the past 6 months I've come to build a picture in my head of the average Peugeot owner. It's not pretty. Most of them have been... well... eccentric to say the least. Some of them in a good way, like the gruff lovable old guy who gladly shares his knowledge with the younger generation. And some in a bad way, like the gruff not-so-lovable old guys who seem to think a Peugeot should be hermetically sealed and placed on display in the Louvre. Like the old guys chronicled in my last post. The one unifying element between the two groups is great age. Young Peugeot owners seem to be in their late 60's.

Last weekend I had my picture of Peugeot owners shattered. Alan had posted an ad on Craigslist for all of the bits we'd removed from Pujo. Interior trim, full a/c system, power window motors and regulators, sunroof track, leather seats, carpet, various switches knobs and dials. All of it was in pretty good condition for a 20 year old heap. The ad wasn't up very long before it was answered by an astonishingly young and normal guy. He had the usual encyclopedic knowledge of a Peugeot enthusiast but only half the age. He was 40. We chatted for about an hour about his car (which was the cleanest and nicest 505 I've seen since they were new) and our car (he was thrilled we were going to be using it as a race car)and he gave me a lot of useful advice on cheap fixes for common problems. Long story short, he bought everything we had. His intention is to restore everything, use what he needs, then eBay everything else. He said he feels he can make a decent profit on the stuff he sells. The most amazing part of the whole deal was how much he paid for the stuff. $500! Who knew these cars were worth more dead than alive? With all of the previous parts we sold from the car, we have managed to purchase the price of the car down to -$280! $780 worth of stuff off a $500 car and we still have a RUNNING car!

When we're done with this car, I think I'll just sell it in pieces, make a fortune and retire to the South of France. :-)