Thursday, January 26, 2012

What to watch this weekend (Jan 26th - Feb 1st)

  • Rolex Sports Car Series - 24 Hours of Daytona. Part 1 of 2; Race coverage. Saturday @ 2:30pm - 11pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD) live
  • Rolex Sports Car Series - 24 Hours of Daytona. Part 2 of 2; Race coverage. Sunday @ 9am - 5pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD) live
  • Wheeler Dealers. Season 8 marathon. Sunday @ 1pm - 11pm (Velocity/VelocityHD) replays
  • Top Gear (UK). Mini Marathon. Monday @ 6pm - 12am (BBC America/BBC America HD) great replays
  • Touring Car Racing Single Play: BTCC (Round 9). Monday @ 12pm - 1pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD) re-airings
  • Formula 1 replay of the week - Grand Prix of Europe from Valencia, Spain. Race. Tuesday @ 12pm - 2pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD)
  • Motorweek. 2012 Mazda 3 SKYACTIV. Tuesday @ 8pm - 8:30pm (Velocity/VelocityHD) new
  • Vinsetta Garage. Design. Tuesday @ 8:30pm - 9pm (Velocity/VelocityHD) new
  • One of a Kind. '54 Cadillac Pininfarina & '37 Talbot Lago. Tuesday @ 9:30pm - 10pm (Velocity/VelocityHD) new
  • FIA GT1 World Championship. Round 9 @ Goldenport Park in Beijing, China. Wednesday @ 12pm - 1pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD) re-airing
The 2012 motorsport season is starting off with a classic this weekend. The 50th running of the 24 Hours of Daytona (13th running of the Grand-AM Premier Series) will be taking place this Saturday in Daytona Beach, Florida. SPEED will be covering a vast majority of the event, but there will be a 10 hour layover during the morning hours. This race will not only mark the beginning of the Grand-AM racing series, but also the beginning of a three race 'Endurance Championship' which is new for 2012. Enjoy the weekend everyone.

Video courtesy of adamrs17.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Motorsport Pron: 1978 Ligier Mantra F1 car

Nothing better sounding than low displacement, high-reving, V12 engines. This footage is from the F1 car of Jacques Laffite during a practice session @ Monza.

Video hosting courtesy of Manueliba7.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TV Series: Top Gear UK - Season 18 Preview

The new season of Top Gear will air this weekend. If you don't feel like waiting for the reairings on BBC America a month or two down the line, download the rips from Final Gear.

Video courtesy of MovieGamesFun.

Video courtesy of TopGear.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Red Coupe - More Repairs

I believe the last I left with this project I had gotten the new motor swapped in and was driving around with it. I hit a raccoon, then got that fixed. I was missing a few clips from the front apron trim, but finally had the car back to the condition it was in prior to the raccoon, with a trip to Bimmerfest East a couple of hours away (and Vagfair a week away). Bimmerfest East was literally up the street which was nice, so I was able to get up there without putting much dirt on the car after washing it the night before. I enjoyed the show, got plenty of compliments (as the e30s in attendance where pretty beat) and got on about my business before Vagfair.

The work week before Vagfair went by as usual, driving home nightly as I always do. I had Friday off for prep so Thursday evening came around and I left work happy, looking forward to a nighttime cleaning session, but little did I know I'd be in for quite the treat. I was driving northbound on Rt.29 and apparently it had been a pretty slow traffic night. I found myself coming over a blind arching hill to suddenly staring down a young deer in the slow lane. The deer was just standing around like it was waiting for the bus. Well the bus didn't come. I got on the brakes early enough, but the deers' indecision on which direction to run lead to me hitting it square in the ass. I spun it around towards the passenger side of my car where its head smacked my mirror into the closed position. I pulled over and quickly assessed the damage. My headlights were still working, but the passenger light frame was snapped pointing its beam towards Orion's belt. The hood was bent in above that light, but my newly refurbed apron and bumper wasn't touched. Knowing how bored the Troopers and Baltimore City transit cops are, so I'm glad there was some kind of light coming out on both sides. Bad news was my driver headlight was always the worst (output-wise) of the two, so vision while driving home was dicey at best. Miraculously I passed transit cops without getting lit up, made it back to Harford County pretty deflated and stopped at the gas station to get a better look at things. I had all of one day to fix it before driving to PA the following night for Vagfair and I wasn't so sure things were going to work out.

You can see the problem area on the right side of the hood bracket and rad support.

The following morning came and I got all my spare parts together. I had a set of headlights I bought to replace my existing units (still thanking the stars I didn't install my stashed smoked ellipsoids on the week before) so I took out the passenger spare to swap parts. I took the front end apart, got the wife outside to help me remove the hood, then took a rubber mallet, my hammer and some prying tools to get things back into shape. I had to put some serious work in, but afterwards I had a headlights that were much better at lighting the road than before, my US grills back in and a crumpled hood that at least latched closed for the time being. I made it to York to stay with friends that night and washed it as clean as I could.

Finished product.

Fast forward to right now, the hood still looks the same as it did in August, as I moved on to more pressing issues. To most it may not look that bad, but the front end is tweaked so much I can't put oem kidneys on without broken tabs and zipties. Since going through the winter does so much damage to the paint anyways, there was no point rushing to get a spare hood installed to find out how bent the hood hinge and front rad support was. In the meantime I'll be sourcing a spare hood for whenever I figure out what I want to do with the front end, and the paint overall. In the more pressing issues department, my front caliper seized on me, which lead to replacing the front two calipers as well as all the rotors and pads. My vapor barriers were letting the torrential East Coast rains into my lovely cabin, and my trunk was leaking through my spoiler holes among things. I also had the driver door lock cylinder seize up, so I was opening the car from the trunk for several weeks. I later had the cylinders refurbed by my friends at Euromotive a month or so ago. While I was at it, I bought new door and taillight seals, then had Euromotive modify my trunk spoiler so it was water tight. I still don't have a perfect vapor barrier replacement, but I repaired them with packing tape in the problem areas to hold me over until I can figure out a good long term solution.

I should've done a better job removing the old dirt from the surface before installing the barrier material.
This worked for about a month or so, unless the a really heavy rain a couple weeks back.
My instrument cluster still has faulty odometer gears and I plan on getting down to business with that shortly, but as I'm sure everyone can understand, when life throws a ton your way, working on the car drops to the bottom of the priority list. The saving grace of this chariot is that driving it has been as awesome as it's ever been. It's truly a joy to drive 100+ miles a day and fortunately it has zero issues keeping me from driving it everywhere. The list of things I want to have done are mighty long, but cost-wise I'm still trying to weigh what's going to be worthwhile. On the table are the following plans:

Plan A

  • thorough body restoration, highlighted by a rad support repair and respray including door jams, engine bay, new door trim, oem 'IS' decklid, oem shadowline, i.e. legit
  • replacing all clamps and aged reservoirs on the M20 (never got around to doing so during the swap)
  • interior refurb with new headliner, sunroof seals, front seat rewrap
  • new coils (unless rear perches can be un-seized)
  • powder coated calipers all around
  • MAF conversion, schrick cam, #17 injectors (already have them), headers, tune
  • no longer a daily driver
Plan B

  • minor body repairs; nused hood, new hood bracket
  • MAF conversion, hot cam, #17 injectors, tune
  • long tube headers, no cats
  • roll cage
  • take it to the track/auto-x
Plan C

  • continue to be daily driver
  • fix what's needed per usual and try getting around to the hood fix in the spring
Plan D

  • minor body repairs; nused hood, new hood bracket
  • sell to fund another RWD project
Guh. In the meantime, I got outside in the cold the week before last and put the steelies/winter tires back on. Winter is behind by at least a month in the Mid-Atlantic area, which has been great for my electric bill, but I sure mother nature will try to pay it back two fold in the remaining two months before Spring.