Monday, October 11, 2010

Portland Race Prep

It's been a while... trying to get back on the horse on this blog thing.

So Erik and I spent this past weekend working on the MR2, trying to get it ready for the Portland race at the end of the month.  In Spokane, we were battling an electrical gremlin that we were blaming the ECU for.  Come to find out, the large ground wire that attached to the frame was NOT the ground wire for the ECU... we accidentally disconnected the ground for the ECU when we were trouble-shooting our kill-switch issues.  Comedy of errors.

Well the car ran ok, but the fuel cut-out all the time... so it went around the track.. but not very well.  We raced it anyways, welcome to ChumpCar.

A couple months have past since that race and we really never spent any time diagnosing the issue until this weekend.  This is when we found the ground strap issue.  I was worried about the motor after running it for 14+ hours with fuel management issues.  The #3 rod bearing is notorious for going out first on the 4AGE motors, so I pulled the pan off.. and found this!

Not good.

Luckily, we were able to track down a new set of rod bearings at the local autozone ($32) and install them with the motor still in the car.  This little "gem" got us thinking about a spare motor for Portland.  In every race we've gone to (11 so far), we've had a spare motor (except Streets of Willows, but that's another story).  We put a new motor in the car for Spokane and apparently ruined it.  (NOTE:  People.. when I say NEW motor.. I mean we spent $80 on an ebay gasket set and honed the thing with a Makita..) So I picked up a parts car a few weeks ago as a donor.

Parts car looks better than the race car

After a quick inventory of motors / parts.. we determined we might have enough stuff laying around to salvage a spare motor.  Sure enough.. with the 5 motors we had laying around, we were able to scrounge enough parts to make something that resembles a rebuilt motor.  We're still going to get new rod and main bearings... and maybe rings.. but the rest of the stuff should be good to go.

4AGE yummies...  5 motors, 4 transmissions, 3 heads

This is our rod from Buttonwillow 08.  We never got around to diagnosing the failure, we just shoved the blown motor in the back of the shop.  Since we were in scrounge mode, we disassembled all our motors and found that bad boy.  Coming soon to a ChumpCar trophy near you!

Sorry Erik, had to.  Erik stripped the tensioner bolt with a 12-pt socket... so our came the vise-grips.  What could possibly go wrong?  This was somewhere in the neighborhood of beer #7 or #8.  by #11, we were playing darts.  By #13 and #14, we were throwing them at each other.  Erik should post pictures of his thumb.   :unsure:


Sarah said...

Yeah, lets see Erik's thumb! :)

Matthew said...

Bender said...

His Thumb looks like a muppet, I am waiting for it to talk to me.