Thursday, April 21, 2011


This little bastard is all that was keeping us from completing our spring swap. It's what was left of a bolt that had seized inside the rear upright. It's the one that holds the strut on. We broke no less than 4 drill bits in it over many hours of work. 

On our last wrench day a couple of weekends ago, the team's most experienced (read: oldest) member cursed and hammered and drilled at it for a few more hours and finally got it out. Then we drank beer.

 Now we have complete suspension! The brakes? We still haven't found the leak. add another item to the "projects for another day" list.

One of our other projects that weekend was to swap the Escort LX's clutch and brake pedal assembly for the one from the ZX2. This was so we could properly mount the steering wheel at a decent angle. Before this, it was mounted at an angle worthy of a school bus. There were some compatibility issues between the different Escort generations, but we made it work.

We also finished pulling the wiring harness from my old car (the donor of the Lemon's current engine).

So Eric and Dave got to work putting it in.

 Here you can also see the half-painted roll cage. We still haven't finished that job.

 There they go!

 I helped too.

My dad and I worked on the engine bay and fender side while Dave and Eric took care of the interior. That's not all done either, so the car is still not in running condition. But hey, when it's done, we'll have fully functional turn signals, brake lights, headlights, and most importantly, instruments! We can't wait!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

We HAD pretty excellent brakes

It might be hard for the uninitiated to tell, but that engine is pretty far forward. Look how close that exhaust manifold is to the radiator.

Notice that the manifold is actually melting the fan shroud. It turns out that our front engine mount completely collapsed under the heroic forces our brakes put on it. I can't fault Ford for this. Rubber that's 10-20 years old really shouldn't be asked to handle race duty. We'll have to come up with a solution for the next race.

Also, we somehow lost ALL our brake fluid while the car was parked this winter. That's bad. We'll have to track that down, or the only heroic part about our brakes will be how we sail it (heroically) into an embankment and burst (heroically) into flames.

In other news, we're fighting with this stubborn bolt in one of the rear struts. We got a good better set of springs to put in, but this bottom bolt here was 100% seized in place. We tried all kinds of things, eventually breaking off a drill bit inside it. The team's self-proclaimed Old Fart got out a grinder and ground off what was still sticking out so we could at least finish the spring swap, but this piece still remains. After last weekend's work we put the strut back on with just one spindle bolt (the upper one you see here), and had so much negative camber as we rolled the car to its parking spot that the tire was rubbing on the strut body.

These are just two of many, many things we have still to tackle before the next race: American Irony at Gingerman this July!