Monday, February 15, 2010

Braking news

Saturday Sean, Bret and I got the brakes back together and the car on the wheels. The only glitch was that our bigger caliper shims meant that our bolts were too short necessitating a run to the only open bolt shop 20 miles away in Tacoma. The car looks great on the ground with the new paint job and rotors but an unfortunate electrical glitch courtesy of our rebuilt alternator installation prevented us from testing our work. Hopefully the electrical problem is just a reversed wire and we'll have the car on the street later this week!

Monday update: The wires were reversed and the light's now out when the car is off and on when it's running even with the new alternator. Time to get out the service manual again!

Thursday update: The rebuilt alternator is no good so we've sourced one rebuilt by a Peugeot mechanic which should hopefully solve the charging problem. It also turns out that there wasn't enough clearance between the rotors and the calipers on one side so we toasted one. Since the race is in two weeks Sean just had the old Peugeot rotors turned (they had plenty of metal left) and we're going back to them for this race and we'll fiddle with the Porsche rotors again before the next race.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Braking without breaking the bank

As those of you who have followed us on the track know the Peugeot has awesome brakes (and from the factory no less). The cost of all the awesomeness is brake rotor wear however so we decided that rather than take a chance we'd put new rotors on for Infineon/Sears Point.

A quick check of the few remaining Peugeot parts suppliers in the USA revealed that 505 Turbo S brake rotors are a) as scarce as hen's teeth and b) cost as much as some fairly sizable jewels, about $350-$400 each. To top it off there are exactly two of them in the USA and if we want extras it's going to cost even more to have them shipped from France.

On to The Google. Hmm, early Porsche 944's had similar calipers/rotors to the 505. After much more research I found someone who had claimed to make the conversion with only light machining and a few extra holes to mount the 5-hole 944 rotor on the 8-hole 505 hub.

Off to NAPA to get a 944 rotor to measure. There are two choices, a $110 Chinese knock-off or the "value" rotors for $58 each. Being LeMons racers we chose the $58 ones of course and we opened the box to see "Made in Italy" and "Brembo" stamped on them! WTF, the Brembos are cheaper than the Chinese knock-offs???

Sean got to machining them and the results are beautiful, we needed caliper spacers about 4 times thicker than stock and 7 extra holes drilled but that was it! 505 owners have sweated for years the expense of Peugeot rotors and we just replaced $700-$800 of Peugeot parts with $116 worth of Brembos, cool!

Pujo! and the Technicolor dreamcoat.

After all the abuse that's been heaped on Pujo! over the last 2 years, we decided to be nice to him for a change and give him a new paint job. The best way to describe the last paint job I did is "Epic Fail". Those of you who have been reading for awhile and following our exploits know that in trying to replicate the Peugeot Rally Team stripe scheme, I may have accidentally painted the car like T.C.'s helicopter from Magnum P.I.

As you can see, a new paint scheme has been desperately needed for quite some time. Unfortunately, we've been spending more time sorting out mechanical problems than decorative problems and we never seemed to have the time to paint before a race. This time we have everything almost done and we could no longer ignore "Magnum".
See what I mean? You can't ignore Magnum. Especially with those shorts. Yow.

Initial sanding and masking comlpete.

Prime time! That means it's 9pm and I'm missing my shows!

If this were a '69 Camaro, I'd be done!

Paint that funky Peugeot white, boy.

Scott has the blues. He's trying to fix my catastrophic paint run. Good luck Scott. When I f*** up, I do it properly.

Red backside. Like a baboon, no?

There, much better. As long as you're over 25 feet away.