Theme Day

Last week we painted the whole car exterior white.  We used state-of-the-art LeMons painting technology.  Rustoleum and foam rollers.

Today we added another coat and painted the water line at the bottom of the car.  I’m really happy how it is turning out.20150725_134434 20150725_134515

Tomorrow I’m going to make cardboard prototypes of the various bits we will add to body that will take it from lowly honda to a glorious SS Minnow.

Great Day!

Today Ewan and I bought some white rustoleum, some rollers a few foam brushes and a plastic paint tray and repainted the whole exterior.  No more stripes.  the whole thing is white except the blue wave bits on the driver side.  Pics later I didn’t have my phone with me today.

After that Tedd helped us get tackle the front rotors and bearings.  Honda was not thinking straight when they designed the brakes and hubs on these cars.  you have to pull the wheel bearing assembly out to replace the rotors, and the wheel bearings come apart when you pull them out.  We had to cut the half of the bearing chase that stays on the hub off with a grinder.  We had a hell of a time with five screws and one axle nut.  We’d been working that axle nut on and off for days and I finally got it.  The screws, I cut the heads off with the grinder.  They were holding the sheet metal shield that is behind the rotors.  It’s there to keep debris, water, dust, something off the rotors.  I look and them and see how much cooling air flow they must be blocking, so they are gone.  We got the front end all back together with new bearings and rotors.  Once the race pads are here the front end will be done!!!

We still have the shocks in the back, the exhaust, and the theme work to do.

Today was a fantastic day.  I’m sore all over.  I’m tired, hungry, and just pleased with the whole thing.  It’s funny how a stubborn nut that finally gets off can give a kind of satisfaction that my day job just doesn’t come close to.

Knocking on wood, if the car doesn’t break and finishes the race, I think we’ll be lots faster this time.  I cannot wait.  Now I gotta go and pay the entrance fees before the deadline.

Back in the Saddle

A few weeks ago we got the funds.  I ordered parts.  This weekend we started ins talling them.

We have a number of challenges.  In the last race we had no end of trouble getting the front alignment straight.  The right front really wanted to have -4 degrees camber.  We bought some adjustable upper control arm mounts, but they wouldn’t hold a setting.  Literally the day before the race we “fixed” it over and over.  Any forward movement with turning would cause it to reset to -4 deg.  So I set the alignment and stuffed the adjustable mounts full of JB Weld and let it cure overnight.  It held!  Our front camber was -1.5 deg on the RF and 0 on the LF.  Still not ideal but drivable.

20150705_155705  All hail JB Weld which got us through the last race.

We also had disastrously bad brakes in the last race.  We replaced pads every few hours all weekend.  During the last hour one of the rotors was so badly warped that the steering wheel felt like a jackhammer whenever we were braking.

After the race I got the specs from the shop manual and measured a bunch of things on the frame.  The shock towers were 0.5″ too close together at the top but were correct at the bottom  That explains lots.  When we disassembled the front end the RF shock rod had a 5 deg bend in it!  A few of our bushings are more like dust than rubber.

20150705_155638  Our old front shocks (one rod bent and one basically loose in the housing)

We have installed new front shocks. I shopped long and hard and the best deal on stock replacement shocks were the Koni SRTs for $63 bucks each.  We got those on.  We also installed the adjustable upper control arms.  With those we should be able to correct for the 4 degrees and set both sides to about 2 degrees negative.  The only adjustable upper control arms we could find were for the late ’80s civic, it looks like we’ll get  a bit of caster out of them as well.  That’s good because the extra caster offsets the camber loss when the wheels are turned under cornering.  Yay.  BTW I don’t trust these adjustable suspension bits anymore, so I fully expect to set them, and then make a bracket that holds them in place and maybe use JB Weld to hold that in.

Tedd got new calipers for the front from the pick and pull in Newark.  It was harder than we thought.  Though it seems like 90% of these Hondas have the Nissin calipers the race pad manufacturers only sell pads for the Akebono calipers.  Thanks to Tedd’s intrepid search we now have Akebono calipers installed!

We still have to replace the rear shocks, the front rotors, maybe front wheel bearings, and the pads all the way around. Then bushings.  We have lots of labor intensive bushings to replace.