Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Long overdue update!

I haven't made the time to post here in a few months and it's long overdue. We just completed the 2009 Arse-Freeze-Apolooza race at Thunderhill just before Thanksgiving. Or, at least we tried to complete it! The engine blew up 2 hours before the finish. :(

We had taken the time to tear down a "new" junkyard engine and machine the head and block and replace all the bearings, rings, and gaskets. However we just finished assembling it the weekend before the race and didn't have the time to install it. We also never took the time to at least inspect the bearings in the engine that was in the car (and was in for the Buttonwillow race after they did the Friday night swap). We finished in 70th place out of 152 cars.

The drivers this time were Mark, Tim, Mike, and Alex who flew in from New Mexico. Here's a link to our album of pictures:
2009 Thunderhill

Now we'll get the rebuilt engine in and decide which 2010 races to enter! Hopefully we'll finish more than one to better our 2009 record!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Buttonwillow Belly Flop!!!

Well, Team StimPack's core drivers wanted a break and decided not to enter the Buttonwillow LeMons race on August 15-16. So, we let our rookie driving crew members take the car and enter the event to try out the LeMons scene out. (We sent two drivers to "chaperon" and help them out.) Driver Terence was filling in as the team leader as yours truly was in Hawaii. :-) Terence said he'd give me a more complete write up soon, but I'll give the short story here.

Friday test day: boom! The engine blew first thing in the morning. They rip it out and await Mark's arrival that evening with the spare motor. They finished the swap at ~4:00 am. The car ran briefly and they went to bed.

Saturday: The car wouldn't run well when they tried again. They weren't able to get it running again until and hour or so into the race. Things went downhill from there... *Every* driver out spun the car (mostly going off into the dirt) and got black flagged to come in for a penalty. I'm told they were almost not allowed to continue into Sunday!

Here's a video clip that shows a really close call (skip to 8:00 to see TSP):

Sunday: It went *further* downhill from there... The every session spin rate continued, and by the end of the day they had their wristbands clipped early and were told to pack it up... Here's a video summary that driver Aric put together:

And, lastly, here's how Judge Johnny felt about TSP and another "notable" team after the event as posted on the LeMons forum:

C.Plavan wrote:
Is there anyway to post how many Black flags each team recieved? It would just be for pure shame...and laughs....

Judge Jonny, Justice of the Court, responded:

Worst offenders this last race were car #5 (the Blue 944) and #78 (Team Stimulus Package in the gold Civic).

The #5 Porsche was so awful they ran up SEVEN black flags on Saturday. In their defense (why am I defending them?) one of their drivers went four off, spun, passed under yellow AND ignored black flags for an hour. So, they got four at once.

Still, I had a nice talk with them and explained that the record of 9 black flags (set by the Sharks, of course, in Houston) will never be equaled or broken. They had to drive the rest of the race as angels.

Late in the day on Sunday, after they'd been driving very well all day, they pull into the pits. Metal on metal with car #78. Honestly, I shouldn't have let them back on the track. HOWEVER, it was car #78, in all honesty the worst team we'd seen in a while. And from all accounts, car #78 was at fault.

Taking a risk (one more black and #5 would tie the Sharks!) I sent both cars back. Within three minutes #78 was back for hitting a car, and I cut all of their yellow drivers bracelets off their wrists.

Well, there you have it. A Buttonwillow Belly Flop by TSP! Now we're going to up to LeMons HQ with our tail between our legs, and bribes under our arms, and let them know that this was just a fluke!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

autocross video footage

I got the video clips together from Sunday's autocross. I didn't get a chance to film on Saturday as I only got two runs in before the low pressure fuel pump revealed that it had previously siezed... The video clips totaled about 12 minutes so I had to break them into two parts. (Note: the resolution is allegedly better if you hit the HQ button after it starts playing. It will take you to YouTube directly.)

It was a lot of fun to huck a toilet equipped car around the course! FWIW, I only got a 0.1 sec better time around the course in my Subaru WRX with lots of suspension mods!

Monday, June 29, 2009

time to flog the car around some cones!

We're going to head down to Marina, CA, this weekend for a two day autocross. Come on down and play if you're in the area!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

We're in for Buttonwillow!

We got the news this week that we've been accepted into the next West Coast LeMons race, the Buttonwillow Histronics! We'll be sending a fresh crew of drivers (aka Rookies) so that will keep the other teams on their toes...hopefully they won't get the car crushed! We do have several open driver spots still, so let us know if you want to drive!

From Team Stimulus Package

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Great race pic

Here's one of my favorite race pics of us:
From Team Stimulus Package

Monday, June 1, 2009

event uber gallery

From Team Stimulus Package

There is now a massive number of photos available here:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Next roof decoration?

Maybe we should talk to this float builder about our future races...

From Team Stimulus Package

Yes, that Obama's Stimulus Package she's holding on to!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Video of us

Here's a couple of Volvos playing. You can see that the front straight starts at ~17 seconds in. Then, at the end of the esses, at the end of the straight, Mark in the TSP car and a Porsche 944 pass them in the turn at the end. The video follows him all the way up the hill climb and you can see the 944 pass Mark at the bottom with him passing right back and holding them off. The rear volvo then passes everyone on the back straight...while the yellow flag is waving!

Here's another good video from another team, but we're not in it. Still, it shows the crazy LeMons scene well!

Monday, May 25, 2009

6th place overall!!

The weekend started out with an afternoon photo shoot in the Golden Sierras on Thursday. Holding back the press and our fans we were able to get some good clean shots.

From Team Stimulus Package

From Team Stimulus Package

Day Zero .... Friday was a bit exciting. We did not pass tech with the lotto cage or the kill switch. Got those fixed and then got a little track time to test the car. We found that we leaked fuel into the cabin. We tried a number of fixes. In the end we went back to a closed system. Opting for no breather and hoping the pressure did not build enough to cause problems.

Day One we had racked up 127 laps and were in 6th place. Darryl ran two stints and had some great dicing with multiple other teams. At the end of the day we swapped the tires around, checked the fluids and she was ready to roll for Sunday. Tire wear on the fronts was significant. Brakes and fluids were great.

The weather was not as warm as expected. With high clouds on Saturday, wind and thunderstorms in the evening.

Many teams came out in costume. Spy vs Spy brought matching black and white rabbits. Even the kids got involved.
From Team Stimulus Package

The chili feed and lotto on Saturday, brought in funds for the Santa Clara Burn Center.

Day Two had more excitement with less overall track time. By using great teamwork, a little luck and just 2 short black flags we were with in spitting distance of first place. Bill brought her home with a three abreast drag to the checkered. All this following an off track incident by our firefighting friends. We finished with 216 laps, 6th overall, and 2nd in class! Just 6 laps off of the leader!

Talk about a stimulating experience!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Decorations are complete and the car is ready...almost!

We got the decorations on the car and took pictures at our sponsor's shop.

Roof top additions:
From Team Stimulus Package

LeMons Lotto added to the trunk:
From Team Stimulus Package

From Team Stimulus Package

We then discovered we had a fuel leak! Good to discover this now before we leave for the race though! I can't wait for Reno-Fernley!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Going for the gold!

The forecast was for showers, but it was dry enough to paint the car after all. Here's how she looked after her golden shower:
Next we removed the fuel tank and found that the source of our gauge troubles appeared to be that the fuel level sending unit was hanging up on the fuel pick up... All seems to be working well now!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fuel starvation problem licked!

Now that we have a fuel surge tank and plumbing installed, we got the fuel pumps wired up yesterday. We also rolled the other rear fender because of the larger tires we're running. We then towed the heap down to our original testing ground (parking lot) and tried it out. The car ran great and the new tires are a LOT more fun!

We then pumped out the main fuel tank and then poured ~3/4 gallon back in. We threw the car around for around 30 min and never had the slightest fuel starvation hiccup in power! Now, wheel spin we had plenty of in those tight corners...

Here's some testing video:

Next up for us: Finish our theme update for the Reno-Fernley race!

Monday, April 20, 2009

lots of progess

We scavenged through 2 Pick Your Part locations the day before Easter and finally found five 15" wheels that would fit our Honda's small bolt pattern. Our new tires (thanks Big-O!) look great and promise to handle much better than the ones we had last time.

This past weekend we built a surge tank to deal with our fuel starvation issues while cornering. It looks like it will work well but we have to finish wiring the extra fuel pump.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Big-O Tires in Newark, CA

I thought I'd put in a plug here on our blog for our sponsor, Big-O Tires in Newark, CA! They agreed that with our slogan of "Giving the racing economy the Big 'O'" they were a good match for helping us out.
They've been awesome to us in supplying us new and used tires. If you live in the area please consider giving them a chance to earn your tire and service business! Please tell them we sent you!

To John and the gang at Big-O, Team StimPack thanks you for your support!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Track time!

We got the car out on the track last Friday (Thunderhill) and it ran great! We were getting fuel starvation issues below 3/4 full though, which is apparently a result of our using the original caburated civic fuel tank so we'll try a swap with a baffled FI tank and see how she does! It handled fine for a crap can race car with our best lap time of 2:27 on the full 3 mile course. The tires we were using were old hard tires so it should be more fun with stickier ones during the race.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What an April Fools' Day!

We "fixed" our "overheating" and non-working tachometer problem last night by grounding the gauge cluster better. However, we then noticed that the gas gauge was no longer working. We pulled that ground off again and the gas gauge returned to normal, the tach went dead, and the temp gauge shot up to full hot! WTF??

Well, we loaded up the car on the tow dolly anyhow and went down to our local "test track" (empty biz park) at ~11:00 pm and had a blast! The car is running great and is really zippy! (I won't say fast...) I can't wait until tomorrow when we head to Thunderhill Raceway for testing!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ugh! Overheating!! Maybe...

I've been chasing an overheating problem on the car for a few days... Our last engine would overheat when we had air in the cooling system, and since this engine was just installed (and shares the same cooling system design) that seemed the likely suspect! After purging and purging and checking the thermostat and gauge, it now looks like the temp sending unit on the engine has gone bad! Perhaps it got bumped during removal/installation...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

test driving

We hooked the car up on the tow dolly today behind my Subaru and went down the road to a vacant business park and did some test driving. The car feels great! The cooling system need air bled so we overheated quickly, but hopefully we'll get that licked before Friday's testing at the track!

I put a "new" muffler on today, but it still sounds like a race car...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

weighing the car

We put the car on the scale last night to see what it weighed in race trim:
1763 lbs

And you can see in the next picture that we have almost "perfect" Front/Rear balance @ 66/34:
Oh well, what more can you ask for in a LeMons car...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New engine is in!

A little history...

OK, I have a little time to catch the blog up to where we are!

We ran our '84 Honda Civic hatchback beater in the 24 Hours Of LeMons 2008 Arse-Freeze-Apolooza at Thunderhill Raceway in December. It made it to hour 11 out of 15 when the engine threw a rod and blew a hole in the side of the block... It had been so much fun driving in this race that we were hooked! We needed a new engine for future races...

We then did a little research and found that '86-'89 Acura Integras had a 70% more powerful engine but would more-or-less bolt right in! Of course, the more-or-less part meant that we needed a donor car to completely strip out and transfer lots of stuff over to our car.

And here is our donor! We paid $400 for this beauty...which unfortunately it wasn't worth! It was however worth more than that for the parts we needed so c'est la vie! And we sold of what we didn't need to get back under our $275 new block budget.

Monday, March 23, 2009

She lives!!

We got the 'ol heap running under it's own power this weekend! It drives pretty well and just needs an exhaust and some other minor stuff. Woo hoo!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

We're in!

Just announced, we're accepted in the race!! Woo Hoo!!!!!

Good thing too since we've burned some of our allotted cash and plenty of our "allotted" capital at home!

We dropped our "new" engine in this weekend and hauled the '88 Integra carcass off to the junkyard. Time to get the new engine running!

Friday, March 13, 2009

TSP Blog goes live!

Of course, we don't have time to say anything at the moment...