WDMS Chapter 24
The Witchdoctor Motorsports Club Rally Team Prepares for the CRNC!
Date: 11 January 2004
The SCCA Club Rally National Championships is Feb 20/21 2004 in Missouri. We have just a little over a month to get ready and the engine isn't even in the car yet! In fact, we just got the intake manifold and carb on tonight. Should be able to get the engine in the car this weekend (17/18 January) and maybe get it fired up. For those of you that remember our last rally, we had only got the car running for the first time with only a week before we left!
The last rally we raced (and, ahem, won...) we used the SCCA road race car's 231 Buick V6. It is a very strong engine, but not only did it need to go back in the road race car, but I wanted more torque for the long uphills. I recently did an engine swap for a friend of mine and I got to keep his old engine. Dean!'s old 92 TPI 305 had only 166,000 miles on the clock when I pulled it out and put an LT1 in it for him. As you can see from the second picture, the cross hatch is still on the cylinders!! Slap on a set of vortec 305 truck heads with a Holley 600 (thanks Wade!) and she is nearly ready to drop in.
Here is the Monztr waiting on the engine, and then Wade and Wendi cleaning off the cyl head surfaces. Z28 in back watching...
And here we are, getting ready to install...
Date 18 January 2004
We have one day less than a month before we leave and the progress is going good. Hopefully we will not have the last-week-thrash as we did last time, but you just never know...
This week the motor was installed, the flywheel and clutch selected, the computer probes installed in the front dustshields, the rotors modified so they have some blanks (welded in) the computer sensors will pick up, and the computer mount almost done being fabricated. And I cleaned the garage some as it was driving me nuts :-). Took the 'WITCHDOCTOR MOTORSPORTS' banner off the windshield because the SCCA wants us to run 'SCCA CLUB RALLY' up there. I *did* take liberty of having the SCCA sticker re-done in our yellow instead of using the white one they sent. I am thinking of having a black vinyl brow put on the windshield so we can put the SCCA banner on top and the Witchdoctor banner right below it. From initial measuring we should be able to see out just fine.
Engine in and Computer probe (circled in yellow)
Rain outside the garage, and heater inside the garage
And the banner that got scraped off :-(
Date: 22 January 2004 (Thursday)
We now have the computer mounted in the car. It is easily within reach for Gary while he is fully strapped in, but won't get in the way of getting in and out of the car. Still needs to be wired, but the mount is good. We made sure the bracket was mounted to the cage padding to help protect the electronics from vibration. Hope it works, because the computer was not cheap.
Exhaust manifolds are on and starter is mounted. Tomorrow (Friday) night we put the transmission in after the clutch assembly and the bellhousing. Saturday morning we have an appointment to get the exhaust done, then its over to Farris Competition to have Todd and Eric fabricate a bar that will make it easier for Gary to get in and out of the car. Currently the lower bar for the window net is in the way and it is difficult without taking the whole window net out and opening the door. We will also look at skidplate ideas while we are there. The polypropylene one on the gas tank is fine, but we want something sturdier for the oil pan/bellhousing area this time. Wendi got the black brow trimmed and installed and then got the 'SCCA Club Racing' banner cut up and spaced and installed. Looks PIMP with the yellow letters (they are supposed to be white...I'm sure we will get in trouble for this) on the black brow. Tomorrow the water pump and alternator brackets come in also. The alternator brackets will not work, but hopefully can be modded easily at Farris Competition without too much effort. Hope to have the car back in our garage Saturday afternoon where wiring will begin in earnest.
Computer in and mounted.
Wendi spacing the banner. Teachers make this look easy. If *I* did it, it would look horrible.
And the all-important posi-check form last year. The lawn grew back....eventually.
Date: 24 January, 2004 (Saturday)
Long day today. Started at "The Rusty Muffler" at 0800 where we unloaded the car in the rain and pushed it into the shop to get the exhaust fitted and made. Rusty did an excellent job (as usual) and the results are awesome. The exhaust is tucked up very well and fitted very nicely. I took a nap as it was being finished as Gary and Eric watched Rusty work his metal magic. A few hours later we loaded the car back up for the short trip to Farris Competition for some fabrication work. We unloaded there (still...in the rain...ug) and got to work. Gary's door has a big "x" brace cage with the window net going across it. The window net can be removed from the top or the bottom and the door, although it opens, is gutted. So at checkpoints, Gary cannot easily get out of the car as the window net falls back down on him, he cant sit on the door sill, etc etc. Todd made a 'butt-bar' out of some small tubing that runs right next to the door sill so that Gary can drop the upper window net mount out the top of the door, then sit on the door sill/butt-bar to slide out easily. Eric custom fabricated a center top mount alternator bracket as we now have a Vortec intake that has a bolt pattern that makes it difficult. It looks great and is very sturdy (rallying is all about sturdy...). After all this, we brought the car home, RE-cleaned the garage and then unloaded the car and put it up in the air. Took some time and got the alternator spacing just right and put a belt on it. Looks like it will work just fine.
Got the new pressure plate this afternoon, so tomorrow we will pull the trans, install the clutch disc and pressure plate, then re-install the bellhousing and transmission. Considering ditching the stock shifter for a Hurst Competition Plus model, but not sure yet. Then we do some wiring and the cooling system and then engine should be ready to fire up. Hopefully tomorrow will be productive too.
On the lift at "The Rusty Muffler" and a shot of the exhaust.
Todd, of Farris Competition, making some sparks as Gary cleans off the cage.
Eric studying the bracketry as Todd welds (don't look at the light, it will burn your retinas!!).
Todd welding some more (save the retinas!!), and Eric's alternator mount. Pimpy.
The finished butt-bar with the door open and the door closed. It will get wrapped in padding soon.
The Monztr at Farris Competition. THANKS TODD AND ERIC!!!!
09 Feb, 2004. Monday.
Yeah, I know, we have not updated in a while. This little thing called the Rolex 24 at Daytona got in the way so we lost some serious time. The motor is STILL not running (not that I'm worried, it ran fine when it came out of the donor 1LE), but we ARE getting stuff accomplished. We will work every night this week and double overtime this weekend. Also, the Thunderbirds were in town recently and when I developed the Daytona pictures I found my Thunderbird pics. But we did get the transmission installed and the shifter put in. So far, two (clutch and brake) of the three pedals work. The third is hopefully not too far off. Enjoy the pics. For more Daytona pictures, Corn (Chris Cornwell) went with us and snapped some AWESOME shots. He has his own site with about 1000 more at http://www.corndesigns.com/photography/albums/index.php?cat=17
Daytona Prototype, someone losing a wheel, and cars under the lights
Thunderbirds and a DP spinning on the pace lap.
Running in the rain and some formation flying.
The windshield banner ready-to-go.
Sweet 'Vortec Inside' stickers on both lower front fenders!
15 Feb 2004.
We got a LOT done this weekend. Of course, we HAD to, otherwise we would not have the MONZTR ready and get to go! Wade came over a lot and between him and Wendi and Me and Gary and Tilton we really made some progress. The rat's nest of wiring under the dash is gone and the engine bay wiring is much cleaner now. I still want to re-do the entire inside wiring, but that will have to wait for the next rally. Tonight at 1940 the motor barked and spit up and burped to life. Set the timing and brought down the idle and played with the idle circuits some and she just purrs now. Really sounds rowdy with a 2 chamber flowmaster on it. Serious ruckus!!
It is Sunday night and we leave Wednesday evening. The motor started for the first time less than 72 hours before we leave. :-)
Wade and Tilton mocking up the windows. Some wiring getting cut out!
Wiring going to the trash! Wendi sewing up the shifter boot.
Hello Mr. Hurst Competition plus shifter. And now wrapped with Victoria's Secret lace!
I didn't get a chance to update again before we left, but here is the Rally Report!