Topic: Gingerman recap (official)
Rambler at gingerman...
If I miss some things, please feel free to add, still slightly delirious from lack of sleep. (After re reading, not sure of the timing of all events)
Randy and I got there Friday morning, Chad Adams brought the car from Chicago, where he and Albert Wentzel had been working on it. Albert fabbed up the center section and did a great job welding it in. They both did other work to the car that I'm forgetting right now. I brought a spare short block, head, clutch, T5, and gasket set with me to ward off the "Evil Spirits of Catastrophic Failure". More on that later...
Steven R Mcdaniel stopped by, went over some items we needed to take care of. Much of our time was spent getting extra support to the rear of the car to help protect the cell structure. Andrew Pickhard, from apocalyptic racing fit us into his seemingly never ending stream of fabricating repair to weld in the support (they won Heroic Fix for the race).
We buttoned up a few more items and breezed through tech and BS. C class, zero laps.
We got the car back to our pit and Randy got to work tuning the carb and ignition. He found the timing mark was off by 20 or 30 degrees, because the mark was wrong. I think it was the crank pulley mark, but I'm not 100 percent on that. We pulled the spark plugs and found that plug #1 was missing its electrode. Pulled the rest and they were ok. Replaced plug 1. Randy also worked on the accelerator pump linkage, which made the engine much more responsive to throttle input. The oil and filter were changed, housekeeping items were taken care of. Albert set up Racecast. Mike Montague came down to install the rear brakes and set wheel lug torque.
It was agreed that fuel pressure should be increased, which also helped throttle response The shift light was set at 5500, rev limiter at 6000 and verified. Judge Phil brought a lovely Iggy Pop figurine and CD player/ weather radio (to be installed later). Iggy was cable tied to the cage, so he could witness all the majesty that is a Lemons race.
Michael Krenzer and his crew, who also had us in his paddock compound, served us a lovely dinner and provided after dinner entertainment.
The car was ready to race??? I took my friend Tom to the gas station, where the Rambler was topped off with 93 octane (!), brought back and put to bed.
Steve mentioned to us, several times, how the car has never had a 4 off, never had contact, and has finished every race. It may have been mistaken as a challenge by members of our team.
Randy went out first and came back to the penalty box, as he T boned Albert who was driving a white Monte Carlo. Challenge met. I went out next, managed to stay on track. Randy, Albert, and I went out without incident. Randy, however was towed in with a transmission that would not shift out of neutral. Found the shifter bolts had backed out. Randy re installed with red loc tite. Judge Steve went out and set a bunch of fast laps. I went out and was feeling pretty good. Toward the end of my stint, I was following a nice MGB GT and liked how he was running around the course. He didn't use his brakes at the big left ( turn 6?) so I figured I'd try it. Wrong answer. The car swung out to the right, I tried to save it. Another wrong answer. Ended up buried in the infield. Got pulled out, then faced the wrath of 12 angry men. And it was on the internets for all to see, if they were watching. I know Corey Dickman was. We brought the car back to dig the dirt out of the rim and give it a once over. Everything was deemed OK, but when I came out of the penaly box, the clutch throw was odd. Found a new bracket that had been tacked in had let go at the top. Drilled a hole through the channel and firewall, bolted and Randy re welded. better than new! Sent Chad out for the last stint. Very close to the end of day one, Chad came back into the penalty box. Another spin. He was sent out to take the last lap of the day. The starter wouldn't pop out to turn the flywheel. He was push started and took day 1 checkered.
We pulled the starter and went over the car before heading over to Mike K's for dinner again. I can't thank him enough for all the help and food provided over the weekend.
The next morning we installed the new starter and brought fuel pressure up to 6 psi, as well as checking wheel torque and swapping right and left side front tires. While I was under the car, I pulled an original part of the clutch linkage out. There was a pivoting part that went onto the rod I removed. apparently, it snapped into place 55 years ago. Kinda just stayed there by suggestion. Drilled and installed a washer and cotter pin, then greased the pivot point. There was a suggestion made to remove the rear sway bar, to hopefully make the rear less twitchy. We sent Monty out for a double stint. it was going well until he came in around an hour in, with the right front wheel bearing smoking. Outer bearing had turned to tiny little metal pieces and smoke. Headed to the autozone to find bearings and seals. Installed the parts after packing the bearings with some Lucas red n tacky (540 drop point). and sent Andrew, our welder from apocalyptic out. Monty put Derek, from around the Apocalyptic group in, instead of himself for a stint (very classy). Randy went in with about 90 minutes to go, and reported that the lovely voltmeter that had been gifted by Judge Phil was indicating 11.5 volts. We verified that the alternator was not charging and sent Randy out for as long as the car would run. He came back in after about 25 minutes. battery was down to around 8.5 volts. I tried to charge it with a lithium jump starter, but it would charge for about 1 minute, then turn itself off. I went out with maybe 11 volts showing and got almost 2 laps in before cutting out on the back stretch. Got a push in, thinking we'd miss the checker. I was informed that checker wasn't until 5:30, we had time to replace the battery. Mike K. to the rescue! he pulled a trolling battery from his trailer. Randy installed it, and I went out for the last 2 glorious laps, took the checkered, and the car died in the hot pit, after the timing mark. Around 5 guys pushed the car up the hill, and I was able to pop start it to get back to our pit spot.
About the "Evil Spirits of Catastrophic Failure". If you paid attention, you'll notice that EVERY PART we brought didn't need replacing. We were able to use the spare rotor that was sent along with the car, instead of beating out the race from the original. All other parts needed had to be sourced locally. I believe this is why you need to bring either a tractor trailer load of parts, or a complete, spare car.
Many thanks to everyone we had to scrounge parts from, who gave us a push, or words of encouragement. I/we made many friends this past weekend, too many names to remember for my tiny brain.
These are the ones I do remember:
Think Jimmy Fallon notes...
Corey Dickman. Thank you so much for sending your car after the Nash met it's untimely (?) demise. I can't imagine the hand wringing, hair pulling, stomach cramping, you had to deal with. Let me know your drink of choice, and we can toast at CMP fall.
Steve McDaniel. Thanks for you tireless work (literally hundreds of hours) piecing the car together, driving up and back several times before finally getting out of Texas and making it to Chicago for the handoff to Chad and Albert.
Gerry Ringle and Skinny Coyote Crew. Amazing work! You should have taped it, was like a reality show, but wasn't staged. Gerry also sent me a set of hubs as spares at great expense, after saying goodbye to the car. He also brought an alternator and voltage regulator to Steve on the side of the road, IIRC.
Randy Wenger. thanks for keeping me awake both ways on the seemingly neverending ride both ways. Your expertise on the old school 2.3 made the car run great!
Albert (the kid) Wentzel. Thanks for your help and the great fab work Also for staying to help pack up our haphazard piles of crap. I think we'd still be packing....
Chad Adams Thank you for helping Albert work on the car, storing it, and getting it up to gingeman. Also thanks for also spinning, which takes a little heat off me.
Mike Krenzer. Some of the best pit food I've had the pleasure of devouring! Race bacon, brisket, steak and chicken. awesome! Also the miscellaneous parts and tools , and especially for risking life, limb and your trailer while pulling the battery.
Brett Sloman and the crew from apocalyptic. We used material and their fab man, Andrew Pickhard. Please forgive me for not remembering his last name. if he's on the FB, please tag him, or add his last name in the comments.
Julian Cordle. Thanks (I think) for the Racecast.me feed. The only problem is that anyone who watched now knows how full of crap I am when I tell them I can drive...
Anyone I'm forgetting, please forgive me. still suffering from post race jet lag.
Ricky Bobby's Laughing Clown Malt Liquor Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, Datsun 510, 87 Mustang (The Race Team Formerly Known as Prince), 72 Pinto Squire waggy, Parnelli Jones 67 Galaxie, Turbo Coupe Surf wagon. (The Surfin Bird)
Besmirching race tracks in the Eastern US since 2001