Monthly Archives: April 2012

Keeping At It

Some miscellaneous items on the list for today, trying to get the car ready to go:

  • I removed the left-hand side panel to find the brake fluid leak coming from union on the flare fittings for the brake lines.
  • I also noticed a leak from under the steering rack – looks like I simply never tightened the AN fitting which attached to the adapters onto the hard line.
  • The seat having now fully cured, we cut and trimmed the seat extensively, including the quarter-moon shape to allow for easy removal from the tub. We also cut the harness holes, and did some initial fitting of the harnesses. 2″ long 3/8-24 bolts along with some 3/8 steel tube spacers allowed us to mount the shoulder belts at the proper height. Some shorter bolts mounted the lap belts and sub straps.
  • Having talked briefly with Stohr about how to install the pedals and the pedal closeout panel, we did the final install on the pedals. a piece of 1″x2″x1/8″ angle aluminum mounted on the floor of the car provided a heel support 1″ from the pedal base, and some leftover 1x1x1x1/8″ C-Channel made for a convenient way to mount the closeout panel, and also the panel to the floor. We also did the final install of shift paddles and brake bias cable, and began buttoning up the bodywork.

Cables and Crows

With all my parts orders arriving, Thursday night was about a few last details before heading back to the track to check on the car’s brake system being housetrained.

To be able to get to the hard-to-reach oil line fittings, which I suspected I may have left a little bit loose, I bought a set of Crow’s feet from Sears. A set from 3/8 up to 1″ ran about
$30, and with a 6″ extension, allows you to easily get to both oil line fittings on the GSX-R to be able to tighten them with the engine in the car. Very handy, especially now that I don’t
have the floor panel access like I did on the DSR.

One small change to make was adding some cable supports to the rear wing, as it is a biiiiitttt too floppy with the large endplates, and very small upper wing. I bought some
3/32 sheathed cable from Lowes, along with some aluminum 3/32 oval-shaped ferrules, and a large crimping tool that looks sort of like a pair of bolt cutters, all for around $30 or so. I also found some nice simple pre-made 45* angle brackets in the Lowes specialty boxes in the hardware aisle.

To that, I added some Clevis ends from McMaster Carr, which are very similar to the ends used on the floor support rods. The final product looks like:

Exit Strategy

A the suggestion of ApexSpeed member “revs12K”, aka Richard, I threaded a few of the FullBore buttons that we use to accept a wingnut, so that they could be placed on cockpit surround,

and operated without the use of a 3/16 allen key if necessary. I am small enough to get in and out of the car without removing the collar, but who knows if it might ever be important. A couple of 1/4-20 x 3/8″ (i.e. SHORT!) wingnuts, a 1/4-20 tap, and some JBWeld was enough to make me some nice buttons that come out quite easily by hand:

 

My Kingdom for a Nut

Big day today, lots of things done! Unfortunately, one critical thing just didn’t quite make it.

  • Most importantly, and hugely time-consumingly, we made the Bead Seat today. This is the kit provided from Stohr, which is the Bald Spot Sports ‘medium’ kit. As before, once I get a chance to verify that it’s fitting OK after all trimming and such, I’ll cover it with the nifty padded OMP Karting Seat fabric from Pegasus.
  • I did the final install of the engine side of the shift cable now that I have a longer bolt to install the slave cylinder properly, and a spacer or two.
  • I installed the new master cylinders from Stohr, sized for the PFC calipers.
  • Found and fixed an oil leak from the oil pressure sender (read: tightened the finger-tight fitting)
  • Installed and tensioned the new chain. As it turns out, the RK chain breaker I’ve been using for the past few years is also a dandy chain rivet tool. For some reason I never noticed that, and had still been using the super-dodgy Motion Pro tool for riveting my master links. That one is now in the garbage.
  • With the seat made, it was possible to set the final pedal location. Soon we’ll install the
    footrest/steering rack closeout panel and make a small heel pad. Along with that, I was able to set the clutch pedal stop and height appropriately. Brakes will have to wait until the whole system goes together. As of yet, there remains some leaks in the hard lines from front to rear…ARGH.
  • Ever-amazing, CD Fasteners was able to find some tiny M3 (?) set screws to thread into the perches on the Penskes to keep the collars in place – this is a much cleaner solution than the ubiquitous gaffers-tape-on-the-perch approach.

Now THAT’s Camber!

The oh-so-close moment came tonight when doing the initial setup on the car. Everything done, car on the scales, heights set, and time to set camber. LF looks good, let’s set the RF. Hmm, the camber adjuster won’t seem to turn. Fast forward plenty of phenagling,
cursing, control arm removal, and finally some good-old-fashioned ‘pull until it strips’, I was able to determine that the camber adjustment in the RF upper control arm was totally galled and not ever going to move. Also seemed to make it impossible to tighten down the rod end sufficiently to be able to actually set the camber.

So, we’re boned for Friday’s race. Thanks for playing…you’re O for 2 in making races so far. @*)!*#(@!

Keep At It

It’s been a few weeks of assembling the car now, and boy am I starting to get weary! Between work, the thrash to try and get ready for Laguna Seca, and keeping my home life in order (!), there’s hardly been a spare moment.

  • Sprocket/Diff: After a quick call to JRO, I was able to confirm that I had the sprocket
    installed correctly (machined portion inward on the diff flange), and that the problem allowing the diff pinch bolts to contact the sprocket was simply that the bolts needed to be cut down. Since pulling those bolts means removing the diff, I removed the sprocket and chain, and used the air grinder to grind them down. Problem solved.
  • FlatShifter: One of the interesting tidbits about the FlatShifter is that the
    sensor is M6x1.25 thread, and the shift cable from the Stohr is 1/4-28. So, to attach the two, you either have to rethread the sensor, or make a small adapter. Since even a small adapter just seemed to add too much length to the system, I ended up buying a 1/4-28 bottoming tap from CD Fasteners, and re-threaded the sensor. easy-cheesy.

Totally digging the blue on the wings:

Failure

With as much as is still left to do on the car, we were forced to make the call against going to Laguna Seca today. Without a chance to do a test day to sort the car out, making the 1,500 mile trek just seems a bit too optimistic. Time will tell if being conservative was the right choice, but given how many things there are to get exactly right on the car, I can’t imagine that the first test will be flawless. So, we’ll re-group and try for the May Daze school/regional at HPR this Friday.