Friday, February 27, 2009

Another weekend, a few more hours of wrench time.

I was on the phone with Steven at again today (that's getting to be a common thing!) ordering more parts for the car. He's got the fuel system pieces we need, but admits the in-tank pump has seen better days. It's GOT to be better than the one we have, but we'll see where it all plays out when it gets here in a few days.

This weekend, we're hoping to wrap up the front suspension & re-fire the engine by by-passing the in-tank fuel pump that we're waiting on (makes sense that we can & be fine; the early cars didn't have an in-tank pump & the early cars & later cars use the same external pump).

If Craver comes over (hint, hint, Tim...I need your Sawzall!) we'll cut the exhaust off & do a quick fab of a Cherry Bomb system for cheap.

Jim has re-packed the front hubs...that's great for all the heat they'll have to put up with over the course of a long race.

I'm sure there's more; we'll get to it after I get off the radio shift tomorrow!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

We've got Rubbers!

The frustration: I can't get those flippin' original tie rods off the car to save my life. I'm being careful not to put too much pressure on them because I'd fear messing up the steering rack...which would be bad. Very bad.

The good: Geoff got us some plastic sheeting that I've riveted into place to form a front air dam. It's hardly show quality, but it'll work well & give us a place to mount brake ducts to.

Plus, last night Geoff & I went to the tire shop here at work & got our new-to-us used tires mounted to the wheels. BIG HUGE GIGANTIC props: to Zach & Ron for operating the machinery (and especially Ron for using his knowledge of camber shaved tires to help us decide which tires to put on which corner). We now have 2 complete sets of tires for the race!

In other team news, I've traded a bootlegged copy of some software to Roger so he loaned me some HUGE metric hex sockets. I need them to change out the transmission fluid (the drain & fill plugs are very odd!); hopefully I'll have that done tonight.

Fellas: I'm free Saturday & Sunday from about 1pm on...let's get the suspension finished up & the engine running...then we can get it to the shop for Roger to work on the cage next week.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

One Lap Forward, Two Laps Back...

A lot of work this weekend on the BMW...some good things, some not so good. Here's the latest...

Teammate Jim Ballard came over Sunday to help wrench on the car; ready for the tally?!
  • The engine oil & filter
  • The differential lube
  • The rear drum brake adjustment
  • Rear springs & shocks
  • Front springs & struts
  • A/C condenser removed (saved probably 20 pounds!)
  • Radiator removed, hosed out, refilled with water (we'll talk about this in a minute
  • Fuel pump in the fuel tank removed...and broken. ;)
Here's what we found; in an attempt to fix the low fuel pressure issue, we decided to start at the in-tank fuel pump. There's a filter on the bottom that commonly gets clogged. Well, we broke the damn thing getting it pulled out of the tank. We hear rumors that you can run the car without it...we're probably going to give that a try! Just to be safe, we'll be ordering replacement parts from Again. We're using them a lot. Yeah.

We pulled the radiator out of the car, gaining access to the A/C condenser which now completes the removal of the entire A/C system of the car. Our guess is that we've saved a good 50-60 pounds off the front of the car by taking those parts off. We rinsed out the radiator & a ton of gunk came out of it...reinstalled it & filled with water. Hey Jim, bad news: it's leaking just sitting there in the car...and it appears to be weeping from the fins somewhere.

The suspension went in surprisingly well: rears were a piece of cake, fronts were great thanks to leverage (grade school science class paid off!). The one bummer so far is the removal of the old tie rods. They're in there pretty tight & may need some heat to help them out. I'll work on that later!

While we had the wheel assemblies out, Jim decided it'll be prudent to re-pack the front wheel bearings. Good call!

So, it's been a weekend of good & bad. We got a lot done on the car, but we found more things that need work. Here's hoping we can beat the clock as our race date looms closer; the first weekend of April.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Colonel Klink Runs! Sort of...

Billy Revis of Motorsport Connections has been working on the BMW for us, trying to get the engine running right. He got it closer than we could; it IS running now & I drove it onto the trailer, then through the neighborhood last night.

There's still a bit of trouble; seems to be a case of fuel starvation; lots of coughs & sputtering at throttle tip in & up through the revs. It could be something simple like a clogged filter in the tank...or either of the fuel pumps, or the fuel accumulator, or... Either way, we'll be tearing into it later today & tomorrow.

This weekend's goal: get the coolant, engine oil, trans & diff lubes swapped out. The suspension too; install the Koni Sport shocks & Race Dynamics lowering springs from

We still have a pretty good "To Do" list:
  • Fuel System (obviously, this is the big one!) Got to get her running correctly
  • Suspension install
  • Re-bleed the brakes; pedal is a bit soft (although the clutch feels great)
  • Adjust the rear drum brakes
  • Exhaust; we'll probably just hack off the original one & hang a Cherry Bomb
  • Wheels & tires; got to get them mounted up but we now have 2 sets of wheels & 3 sets of tires!
  • Roll Cage; my (foolish) buddy Roger Sigears at Petty has said he'll help us out with welding the cage in.
  • Safety equipment; we need to fab up a seat mount, bolt in the seat, add belts and a window net.
The optimist in me felt great to at least DRIVE the car yesterday. The engine (despite the fuel issue) runs smoothly, the transmission shifted well & everything felt decent.

Want to lend a hand? Just drop a line: and bring your wrenches!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lemons update!

We're getting closer to the race and things are starting to look good. The bummer is that Kelly Childress has had to back out; financial issues & such. It's too bad, but I understand totally.

Now, the good news: came through yesterday & a set of Koni Sport shocks & Race Dynamics springs were delivered. They're not pretty, but compared to what's on the car now, anything will be better. Their support is greatly appreciated & helps us make budget. Now, I DID have to spend a few bucks on a set of wheels with them, but Steven hooked me up for a great price on a set of 13x6 basketweaves!

Craver & I are working stock cars in Atlanta this weekend, but once we get back, it's going to be a thrash to get the car finished up, then on track for a test day!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fixin' the Motor Pool...

After ages of fighting with the engine on this BMW, I've decided to bite the bullet, spend the money & have a pro look at it.


The BMW is now in the capable hands of Billy Revis. Billy owns Motorsport Connections in Mooresville & Winston/Salem. He's also a former Speed World Challenge racer. Yeah, he knows something about making a car work.

Hopefully we'll get it back soon, get the cage in it & start wrapping up the build.

Hammer's Heroes take a casualty

No surprise that the economy has everyone pulling our belts tighter. I just got word from our buddy Kelly that he won't be able to make the race this Spring. That leaves us a 4 person team, which should be just fine...but...

If you have something to add to our mess, drop me a line & let me know. We can use more knuckleheads like us!