Monday, November 30, 2009

Another 15 minutes of fame?

And so, we left for Willows. We'll sum up each day of the race, but first, a quick side note.

As we got back to the hotel Friday night after a very fun team dinner at Casa Ramos (big thumbs up, by the way), a few of us began to get a photo message on our phones. Apparently, hitting mailboxes that day was the December issue of Grassroots Motorsports. A good friend of ours (hi, Laura!) took a picture of the cover. Who could that be? Why, that's Pujo! on the front cover, right by the banner, the representative photo for the article inside about LeMons racing. Our very own Reverend Scott, there in all his glory coming down "The Slide" at Reno-Fernley raceway.

On the Frickin' Cover of Grassroots Motorsports.

Representing $500 racing to everyone who lives under a rock and hadn't heard of it yet.

We're giddy. But if you've met us, that's really not a change from the normal, is it?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

We have some catching up to do!

Yes, we just got back from Thunderhill.
Yes, the car finished the race.

But... we'd be doing a disservice if we told the story out of order. So we'll blast through the next couple of chapters and get all caught up.

After fixing the transmission (hooray for ingenuity and persistence!), the next few work parties addressed various issues with the car. The shocks were easily rebuilt with new seals and fresh oil (lighter weight, as the heavy weight we'd used before was probably the cause of shock failure). We relocated the battery to the trunk to make it easier to work on the engine, a little elbow room under the hood can make up valuable minutes at a LeMons race. Relocation made easy by a BMW 325 battery cable from our local junkyard. We decided we liked the spring performance with the clamps we'd used, so decided to clip the springs to make the change more permanent and prevent clamp failure. Basic maintenance of course, fluids, all that good stuff. During the course of this, we discovered that we'd need new axle nuts. Contacting our source for Peugeot parts, however, proved frustrating. The Turbo S model is, of course, different from your standard 505 in almost every way that matters, very little is interchangeable. Yes, he "could" get us the correct axle nuts, but like so many of the other parts we've asked him about, they would be about the "very last in the country" and Pug enthusiasts cry when they hear it would be going to a race car. This forced Sean to take the cheaper option. Owning your own aerospace machine shop makes it easy to replicate certain types of parts. A little 2" hex bar, some measurements, a couple hours, and only minimal swearing later, a brand new set of replacement nuts for less than we could have bought them.

We installed a more permanent location for our transponder, not that zip ties are a bad thing...

Time began to run short before the race. It was now less than a week to go, and our big ideas for redecorating would just have to be put aside. There's always another race, right? We had a team meeting to discuss trip logistics and strategies, and our youngest Monkey stepped in to ensure that our art theme would happen as planned, if not on the original scale.

We showed off the work we'd done to a tough audience, Doug's dad who was up from Nebraska, a wonderful man with many years of racing expertise under his belt. He was, to say the least, a bit dubious about our choice of a Peugeot.

The meeting was as good as a 6-person meeting can be with 2 people absent. Sadly, one of our drivers was feeling the effects of a cold, and another had been hit earlier in the week with swine flu. It was now Sunday night, and we were hopeful for quick recoveries from both guys. Our hopes turned to worry as Bret's fever continued, and by Tuesday, he was officially not going on the trip. At the last race, going from a 6-man team to a 5-man did not hurt us in anything other than the fun quotient. But even though we knew we'd have less daylight, this time was different. One of Doug's good friends from the Rally circuits was going to be coming up from San Diego to watch and support us in the pits. Would he be interested in taking a turn behind the wheel since he was going to be there anyway? After just a few questions which proved he wasn't completely mental, he agreed. We welcomed temporary Monkey Rick onto the team, and couldn't wait to meet him on Friday.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Garbled Transmissions Part Trois

Okay, that didn't work. We were able to select 1st through 4th and occasionally 5th, but reverse was out of the question. It would appear that some mechanic, the name of whom we cannot disclose, made an error in reassembling the transmission.

Back to the workbench!
We're getting fast at this.

We determined that the motion of the linkage that moves to reverse/5th was limited. Why?
The truth is in there...

Ah hah! The spring and plastic limiter that keeps you from selecting 6th and 7th gears was installed wrong! A quick bit hair-pulling session of puzzling what the correct order is for the spring, shim, washer, plastic chingus, other shim ensued.
Here's the problem!

The linkage resorted, we reassembled the transmission for the last time. We were sure to use plenty of assembly lube to make sure things went together well.
Blood makes great assembly lube.

We properly torqued all the fasteners...
Could it be done?

And tossed it back in the car. We've gotten really fast at this.
Doo dee doo...

Where... IT WORKED! WE FIXED IT!!! And it cost absolutely nothing!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Garbled Transmissions Part Deux

Since we have no idea what we're doing care so much about doing the job right, especially when it involves the dark magic of transmissions is a complex job, we thoroughly washed all the pieces of the transmission.
Ain't it purdy?

We initially couldn't determine what was wrong. But, with the gearset out, we noticed the shift selector forks behaving poorly. Turns out that when Hercules made that last shift to third, he managed to send the shifter fork too far along its allowed travel and the little pin that tells the rest of the works, "Hey! I'm in third!" fell out. Here's a shot of the selector forks, the center one is tilted to show the hole that the little pin rides in.

And here's a shot of our troublesome little friend the pin.
say hello to mah leetle friend!

With the little pin returned to its home, we put our transmission back together again.
reassembly is opposite of disassembly

We were very careful to make sure we got the shifting linkage reconnected. It would be a shame to have to take this thing apart again...
So precisely... (yes, the wire on that rod was a race day fix to the shift linkage before we garbooned it into being stuck in third).

All sealed up, we threw the transmission back in the car in about 20 minutes.
Back home again in greasy engine bay...

Now to test it to confirm our repair worked!