Racer's Wedge - SB-1, Silver Bullet version Page 2
This is some of the final detail - just before the car was
loaded into the trailer for the first time.
(Everything on this page was constructed/completed) and installed in the last 48 hours before the race.)
Battery, catch can and fire system, all neat and tidy in front of the motor. In order to remove the motor, I only have to remove the catch can (takes about 20 seconds) - the rest can stay in place.
The rear shock/spring, along with the exhaust system has been stolen from the old car and installed.
Jim built up a really simple channel to go over the oil cooler to guide the air to it. I don't think I've THANKED Jim yet on these pages. Jim Scott, an associate at my former job with the FCC, came out of racing retirement almost 20 years ago to help me design and build the Racer's Wage after my accident. When I mentioned to him a couple of months ago that I was thinking of building another car, he volunteered AGAIN (!WHAT! was he !THINKING!??) to help me out. His knowledge and talents have contributed TONS towards the success of both the 'Wage' and, now, 'Bullet'. He has donated countless hours and it would not have been possible without him. THANKS JIM !!
A bit messy here, but it LOOKS worse than it really is. The conglomeration of rubber hoses is to accommodate the SCCA mandated fuel sample port and the
Steve Davis required TWO fuel filters.
I welded on a couple of tabs and Jim made an aluminum bracket to hold the coil - away from direct engine heat.
An aluminum plate screwed to the steering box tube holds the AIM XG-Log data acquisition system. On the other side of the steering box, I mounted a terminal strip to route the battery voltage to all the places it needs to go. A "cleverly bent" piece of green plastic protects the power strip from accidental shorts to ground.
A hastily fabricated, extremely technical, MPH pickup mount is bolted to the steering arm and tie wraps keep the 2 master cylinder reservoirs from falling down and spilling their guts.
A bent front spindle replacement, turned into a five hour marathon that ultimately led to finding a broken brake drum in addition to the spindle.
Another 'hasty bracket' allows the data dash to clip to the steering wheel. That will probably be moved later to the dash.
An idea of what a well organized garage looks like after 3 weeks of THRASHING to get finished.
I finally get the car to the track - fasten the last couple of Dzus fasteners and out she goes.
Linda snapped a couple of 'before' pictures .... just in case :-).
Brand new belts from SafeQuip
We had to 'make up' fire extinguisher and OFF (master switch) decals at the last minute. The "real ones" weren't available, so we cut out letters from other decals I had on hand.
It's finally time to risk life and limb to see if I forgot anything important! (let's hope not).
Linda tried several times to get a shot of me ON the track, but the time lag of our digital camera left her with a lot of empty track. She was, however, successful at recording the fact that I WAS able to drive it back into the pits. Not a bad start!
PROOF POSITIVE! I found a pic that proves were were on the track ... at least we made it to turn 1 once :-). (The nose really isn't gray - not sure why it looks that way.)
We had 3 sessions during the day. A qualifier, a qualifying race and then the 'real' race. There was almost enough time between them for me to get about 1/10th of the things done that I needed after each session. The first one was pretty good for the first time out. I started off pretty slow and gradually picked up the pace. I noted MANY 'issues' with me fitting into the car, visibility, etc, but the car seemed to 'work' OK. One MAJOR problem was the head temps were way too high - over 500 degrees !! For the second session, I repositioned myself in the car a bit, added some bolsters to keep me from rolling around too much, and worked on the scoops to the heads to reduce the amount of air that was being lost due to my poor workmanship on the ducts.
The next session was a good bit better. My mirrors were vibrating too much, the steering wheel too close to the front roll hoop (bloodied my knuckles through the gloves) - made it a bit tough to steer when I really needed it most. Several other items as well, but we went a little faster and I noted no real PROBLEMS except that the front suspension was too low and I didn't have the equipment to fix that just then. We fixed a few more things, tilted the steering wheel down, added more ducting 'fixes' and things got better still. I decided to put on some front Goodyears that were a little better for the last session - the car was feeling pretty good, even if *I* was still not comfortable in it - that would take a little more time than we had. Linda mentioned that someone had been looking for me when she went to file the points waiver in the tower. I went up and found Susan Coleman - mother of Heyward Wagner - leader of the infamous 'Underdog corner working team' !! She had FOUND an old Underdog sticker and felt it belonged on my new car. I KNEW the car seemed to be missing 'something' but had not figured out quite what it was. She was RIGHT - I applied the sticker just before we went out for that last session and the car REALLY seemed to come to life. I dropped my laptimes by TWO FULL SECONDS and am now beginning to believe that the car truly has potential.
At rest at the end of a LONG day - tired but happy! During the whole day, only ONE THING "BROKE" and that was a bracket that supports the shifter rod. I finished the 2nd session stuck in 4th. I had failed to recognize the DIRECTION of the force on that rod and didn't have enough strength for it. A little welding and fabrication reattached it and carries the load nicely now.
I plan to strip the car back down to the frame and have it powder coated. Then hopefully, get it all back together again ... with a LOT of fixes (I have a list of about 40 things), in time for the last SEDIV National event scheduled for the 4th weekend in August at CMP/Kershaw. I'll probably follow that up with a trip to Barber for Labor Day and then decide if the car will make the trip to the Runoffs this year ... or we drop back to the Racer's Wage for another shot at Topeka. Time will tell...
On to Page 3