One Year of Ownership

For those that didn’t see my post on Instagram or Facebook, exactly one year ago yesterday I took delivery of this amazing race car. I’ve had it on the track a few times and have almost completed an extensive and rather exhaustive resurrection. Best of all, I’ve made some AMAZING relationships with some truly great people and shops from around the world. It’s great to see how helpful people are, especially with a 15 year old race car. A special and HUGE thank you goes out to Mark Hein, the original owner/builder/driver. The success of this resurrection couldn’t have been possible without his help.
THANK YOU and I can’t wait to get “old yeller” back on the track in 2016!

To celebrate, below are some historical racing shots in it’s prime; at Spa Francorchamps and in the Speedvision & Speed World Challenge Series:

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New Seats + Misc Prep

For those wondering why I keep working on the car rather than getting it on the track, I’m still waiting on the ELR wheel studs and modified rear trailing arm (I sent it out last July and was hoping to get it back a few months ago). The current ETA is the next two or three weeks. In the meantime, I’m keeping myself busy with a long to-do list since the car is more or less stuck on jack stands until then. Once the arm and studs arrive, I’ll be able to button up the suspension, perform a full alignment and corner weight, do quick dyno tuning session with Lawrence and get it back on the track.

Cobra Sebring Pro Technology Seat
After realizing how small tight the passenger seat was, and considering the current OMP driver’s seat is not the original seat for the car, I was in the market for replacement drivers seat so I could move the larger OMP seat to the passenger side (plus is would give the passenger side head protection). Originally Mark used a Cobra Suzuka and while I like that seat a lot, I wanted something with side to side head protection (the OMP won me over for that very feature).
After some research, I decided on the Cobra Sebring Pro Technology. The seat is basically the same as the Suzuka but incorporates side head protection and is HANS compatible. The seat weight is about 11lbs and uses a full carbon fiber shell. It also exceeds (3 times) the FIA 8855-1999 standards @ 63g. The Technology/Outlast part of the seat is in relation to the foam and fabric used (energy absorbing foam padding, Dinamica upholstery with leather anti-wear patches and Outlast heat/cooling regulating system). I absolutely love this seat.

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Season End Testing @Sonoma

After the end of the racing season the team decided to do some testing at Sonoma Raceway. To see what the old tired setup could do once dialed in.

Using the data from the last race the team worked to dial in the launch. After a wasted first pass due to a slippery track the team made some adjustments and lined up for a second pass.

The car managed to bite hard and shake off the collector at the 60′ mark. Letting off up top in an effort to not get kicked out since the cage was not certified for < 10.0s passes. To the teams surprise the car managed a 9.92@135. Unfortunately since the 10 second barrier was broken the team had to pack it up for the day. A bittersweet ending to a great day with a new personal best.



Getting closer…

Carbon headlight caps & bumper prep
As mentioned in a previous post, I removed the headlights (endurance look) and reattached the original carbon headlight caps (Speedvision World Challenge style). The caps are attached via small black bolts around the headlights. Additionally, and it’s not really pictured but I completely stripped the front bumper to prep it for a repaint. Same goes with the original lip, extended splitter lip and both fenders. (Hopefully we’ll get the paint to be a close match since yellow can be a pain to get perfect).

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Tying up loose ends

Repaired driver side seat mount
I kid you not, this has been the most irritating flaw with the car. From the very moment I took delivery, I swore I’d have this fixed ASAP. The old and poorly hacked/cut bracket was carefully removed with a spot weld drill before being thoroughly cleaned with a brown fiber 3M roloc disc. The bracket I salvaged from the junk yard (see previous posting) was thoroughly prepped by drilling new spot weld holds, shaping the flange to the floors contour and removing the old paint/coating before welding. The welding was simple enough and even after just one tack weld, the bracket was incredibly strong. To match the seam welded chassis, the bracket was also seam welded in three places. A quick cleaning with the SS wire brush and a wipe down with Isopropyl and the bracket was ready for some soft etching zinc based primer. After two or three coats it was ready for the paint. For the sake of time and since I didn’t have any Y56 paint on hand, I free handed the bracket, surrounding floor and rocker sill with two shades of yellow (one cloudy single-stage light yellow and one deep yellow base). Once dried the color was a pretty good match (lacks a hint of green like Y56). #racecar



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Repacking New Wheel Bearings

Wheel hubs & bearings
While putting the calipers and rotors back on the car I noticed some play with the driver side wheel bearing. Synching it down with an axle helped, however, the outer bearing race kept popping out when the axle wasn’t connected. This to be expected (to some degree), however, given that I didn’t know how old the bearings were, I decided I’d replace them while everything was still in pieces.
So last week I removed the carbon ducts and jumped over to my press to pull everything apart. Much to my surprise I discovered that the front bearings were not using the OE (wax style) grease. While the first picture below looks pretty bad, realize that the grease being used is Redline CV-2 (hence the red/brown color). After some head scratching I recalled that one of the original sponsors Mark had was Redline, and that he may have some more information on the bearings and setup. After some back and forth communications I found out that the front and rear hubs/bearings were likely pieces Mark installed back in 2003, shortly before he sold the car. Apparently (and as some us are very familiar with), the OE wheel bearings fail on a pretty consistent basis, especially when you track the car. Typically the rears fail first but fronts aren’t far off. For the most part, the bearings fail due to the extreme side load and heat they’re subjected to, especially in the rear and especially with sticky tires and large rear anti-roll bars. Mark said he’d typically get 10hrs or so off a set before having to replace them, and for the most part, he’d replace them after race.

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