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  #41  
Old 09-07-2012, 08:09 AM
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I think this is cool. You have lots of time to tinker and fabricate so next season this will truly be a car you built. This will make it much more fun, win or lose.
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  #42  
Old 09-17-2012, 07:20 AM
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Time for some small updates I suppose. From here on, the car only gets heavier.


2012-09-07 14.38.29 by chicht, on Flickr
I filled the hole in the floor with a sheet metal tunnel, I'll weld it solid once the exhaust is built. Got the header back from being sand blasted, gave it a coat of high temp paint. Its mounted on the car now, once I'm sure there is no oil leaks to get on it I'll wrap it to keep under hood temps down. For now its on to get the car running then check for leaks. I should be building the exhaust tomorrow.

As mentioned in the first post, the front bearing on the steering column got loose somewhere, while it still worked, it rattled around; an annoying distraction while focus should be on driving.

2012-09-11 23.22.19 by chicht, on Flickr
So i re-did the column with 3/4" tube, steady bearings from princess auto and welded on the splines from the stock column.
Not pictured is the re-done seat mounting without the adjustable rails for multiple drivers. Just me this time so it is as low as it can go, and a further back, the steering column is extended something like 4" from stock, the pedals will be getting extended 2" or so. There is lots of room to go back further to better balance the cast iron boat anchor in the engine bay, but I'm not comfortable extending the pedals some 6 inches, and floor mount pedals aren't in the budget. yet.

I got rid of my old DD/first car ever this week, I raced the shit out of this thing for quite a few years until it gave up its heart to the chump car cause.

2012-09-12 15.53.52 by chicht, on Flickr
I shed a single tear as they stabbed the forklift through it at the scrap yard, then they gave me $94, and all was well. I really wanted to pull more parts from it, but after the second nut that was rusted and broken off inside the sub-frame I decided my polyurethane bushings and rear-disk brake parts weren't worth it. So I'll have to order another bushing kit some time. meh.


2012-09-11 23.32.19 by chicht, on Flickr
Another tragedy this week as this masterpiece of a hood has to go, the deck height on this engine is about 1/2" higher than stock, so the timing gear and thermostat cap hit. :-(


2012-09-16 18.52.17 by chicht, on Flickr
-6AN fuel line is run, had to ditch the stock line because it intersected the new exhaust tunnel. Turns out there are some nifty clips to put an AN fitting straight on my stock fuel pump and rail.
On that note, the engine is ready to start, I can't think of a reason why it wont for now... I did modify some of the wiring, even though I was careful I may have made myself some very hard to trace problems: I do not like sorting out electrical problems.
I'm just waiting until I have some company so someone can keep an eye on the new oil lines when it starts.

Lastly, when we were building the car for Chump we noticed that there was a not-small amount of flex visible on the master cylinder when you mash the brake pedal. Everything still works, you can put more than enough pressure in to lock up the tires anytime you like, but its not exactly confidence inspiring knowing that is happening. So the last order of business for the day was to build a brace to take care of that.

2012-09-16 18.52.38 by chicht, on Flickr
This is a terrible photo because that colour blends into the engine bay pretty well, and there isn't much context to see what the piece does or how it acts if you don't already know. Its pretty straight forward though, it bolts on top of the transmission mount and puts pressure on the end of the master cylinder. No flex.

One of my major points of resent with the neon is its auto-magic clutch cable adjuster that feels like garbage and breaks often.
turns out there is an aluminum manual replacement available on ebay:

Clutchcableadjuster1 by chicht, on Flickr
just not sure if I want to have a go at making one myself, or just spend the $50... how hard could it be?

The car is getting shoved away again as soon as its running so I can get back to work on some roll-cages for a while. If I'm going to race next year I'll need to buy some wheels and tires
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  #43  
Old 09-18-2012, 08:16 AM
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2012-09-17 18.59.08 by chicht, on Flickr
I love how simple this exhaust is, right around 50/50 straight through section to muffler length

2012-09-17 22.12.19 by chicht, on Flickr
All done, no hindrance on ground clearance at all. Paint touch-up will be required.

I also welded the tunnel section inside the car so this portion of the project is complete.
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it felt high & hard!

Last edited by ThomasChichak; 09-18-2012 at 08:19 AM.
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  #44  
Old 09-19-2012, 08:38 AM
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So I made the clutch cable adjuster, looks like this:

2012-09-19 00.34.04 by chicht, on Flickr
Works pretty good. nicer than the busted adjuster I had before for sure.
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  #45  
Old 08-17-2017, 02:46 AM
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So I never did forget about this thread, but the way I build a racecar when stuff is actually getting done there isn't a lot of spare time to keep it up. Some of the regulars may have noticed that this car is actually out racing this year. And actually did Chumpcar 2015 before that and not a single post about it. I'll try to cobble together a post of how it got to where it is now and troll my dropbox for photos.
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Last edited by ThomasChichak; 08-17-2017 at 02:55 AM.
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  #46  
Old 08-17-2017, 03:57 AM
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So briefly, from memory, there was an aborted megasquirt install for the 2.4L, just enough to get the car running, then it got sidelined for a couple years; living outside in the fenced yard under a tarp.

Then the full course at Castrol finally happened and Chump Car was going to be there! With a lot of coaxing and some bench racing I managed to convince 3 good friends to back the car and it was registered to do it's second race in 5 years.

With a team comprised of a couple shift workers, a business owner and some dickhead living overseas it was difficult to coordinate time to properly wrench on the car until the deadline was looming. Much of the hard work was done but issues long forgotten about since the last time the car was raced still needed addressing. The megasquirt was subbed out for stock ECU and wiring and we went to work with the race prep.

Since it's really too long ago to remember any specifics, I'll give you some highlights from our post-race notes.
  • Suspension - Too soft, too high. This was stock, with mildly cut springs. Not enough to effectively use the tires we had.
  • Time off track from things coming loose - Rear camber adjustment, exhaust, alternator wire and more cost us time.
  • Cylinder head wasn't draining oil fast enough - catch can was filling up with fresh clean oil.
  • mysteriously didn't make any power below 6000rpm, this is where the 2.4L should really shine.
  • seating position was too much of a compromise with drivers 6'4 and heavy set to 5'7 and skinny.
  • fuel starvation at 1:45 with between 1/4 and 1/3 of a tank remaining.
  • transmission started popping out of 3rd
  • Lots of room for a bunch of other minor improvements.

    BUT
  • brakes were very good. The formula of Hawk DTC-60 and garbage rotors continues to impress.
  • cool shirts are awesome
  • radios are very nice to have, even though the driver transmit level was very low for some reason.
  • car looked super bitchin' at night thanks to the 12 Volt Wizard.
  • LED light bars might suck for everyone in front of them but work pretty well from our seat!
  • A good time was had


Lexan windows!


LED light bars.




At the end of it all, even with an imposed ban on any business above 6000rpm, the engine only held together for 22 of the 24 hours. I never did tear it apart to see if there was an apparent cause of death. I do know the oil temps started rising, and oil pressure dropped.
It coasted into the pit with a very definite death-rattle. When the dust settled it was somehow about 1L over full of oil. This was about enough to kill my motivation for the project again; Back out in the yard it went for about 18 months.
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Last edited by ThomasChichak; 08-18-2017 at 02:56 AM.
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  #47  
Old 08-17-2017, 05:11 AM
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So after a year doing all the work making Dean a Spec Miata and doing a little race support I was finally motivated enough to get my race license and and do some real racing. I had sold my other neon and was left with a few parts so the plan is/was to throw them all at the race car and see what class it ends up in. The notes from the chump car race were valuable for making sure nothing important got missed. With my work schedule I'm only off for one of the NASCC race weekends and I'd rather like to race my car more than once a year so we decided the cars first race would be the WCMA Runoffs in Gimli MB with, once again, a completely new, untested setup.


A new engine and transmission were sourced (pick-n-pull). I opted for a SOHC 2.0L for the 150lb advantage it gets over the twin cam and hopefully no issues with draining oil out of the head that the 2.4L shares with the DOHC. Transmission got a Quaife LSD. Suspension would be a set of Koni Yellows with Mopar "X-High Rate" (310/230lbs/in) springs I actually talked about in the first post in this thread. These were plenty harsh on the street and the ride height was nice with a full weight street car, but the 2250lb race car ended up approximately stock ride height and the front spring rates left much to be desired. A nearly new but well seasoned (2011) set of Toyo RA1s were mounted and that just left a short list of loose ends to tie up before it would be race-ready.


Almost all of this actually got done. Items marked with a star were deemed essential before racing.


I picked up this used ultrashield seat for a very reasonable price from a shop in Airdrie. It went on the swivel base until I was ready to put it in the car. It is bolted straight through the floor so unless I can arrange a team of people very close to my proportions this means the end of the neon's career as an endurance car for now.


I'll try and take a few overview photos of the car next time I'm working on it. There isn't much to look at really.


Gimli was a success! At least in the sense that for the first time I finished the weekend with a functional engine. Managed to run more-or-less mid-pack with some Miatas and not completely out of sight from the very competitive PTE field. Had a ton of fun in the rain on Saturday morning and gained confidence and speed throughout the weekend. Not bad for my spare parts I felt and no major issues to be addressed for the next race weekend.
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Last edited by ThomasChichak; 08-18-2017 at 02:55 AM.
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  #48  
Old 08-17-2017, 12:11 PM
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Tom! Awesome!!

My favorite part of this story is "some dickhead living overseas". Same dickhead also blew it up. <3
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:11 PM
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Tom! Awesome!!

My favorite part of this story is "some dickhead living overseas". Same dickhead also blew it up. <3
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:13 PM
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So awesome I double posted.
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