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Team Molly Whoppin' Wankel's LeMons Build

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Team Molly Whoppin' Wankel's LeMons Build

Old 10-15-08, 03:31 PM
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Team Molly Whoppin' Wankel's LeMons Build

A group of buddies and I decided to build a car for the Houston edition of the 24hrs of LeMons. One of the guys had bought three SA and FB RX7s almost 7years ago for the grand sum of $700. The other two cars had long been sold and parted out but he still had one gem, lovely referred to as the "Brown Mound." This 1984 GS has been sitting in his driveway since purchased and was a favorite hangout spot for his cat. Only has 83K miles though!

Ready to leave Houston.


Here's the car once it was towed up to DFW and sleeping in my garage. Covered in pollen, slowly rusting in the Houston humidity.


Partially gutted the car while it was staying at my house. Removed all the junk in the rear, side glass and carb from the motor.




Once I had finished poorly rebuilding the carb, we ran the fuel lines out of a gas can, with the new pump inline. With just a little luck, she fired to life and rev'd to 7K easily. The car was open header at this time and quite deafening.


With everyone convinced that the car would infact run, we started working late at night on it. We did a brake job and replaced radiator/fuel lines once the cores/tanks were flushed and clean.


We scored an Autopower bolt-in cage from a guy down in Houston and one team mate offered up a Kirkey seat he previously used in his Spec Miata. Used Konig Rewinds were purchased along with new Falken Azenis. Pro-Tuing Performance of Fort Worth, TX help source most of the parts for the car.

By mid-September we'd been busting *** to make noticable progress on the car. Luckily the car was being stored at Zero Hour Motorsports in Arlington, TX and was a central location for the team to meet up for work sessions. I was able to drive the car down the road to Alamo Autosports to fabricate the exhaust, which was MUCH needed since there is a 92dB sound limit at the event.

With the car running and driving under its own power, we contacted rotary specialists Rotary Performance in Garland, TX in seek of their sage advice.

Heading to RP


Me sitting in front of the shop in the Brown Mound


Initial inspection of how poorly we got it running


They rebuilt the carb, I had previously attemped to fix, along with dozens of other fixes and got the car running like a champ. It idles!


They strapped it down to their Dynojet and the car made 108whp with just a Racing Beat header, 2.5" resonator and emissions stripped carb. When we dropped it off, it was making less than 70whp.



We're getting quite excited about the race and plan to do shake down testing over the next few weeks. There are still a few key areas of the car we need to work on, but nothing that can't happen in time for the event.

UPDATE:
We took the car out to the local track and shook it down. Aside from being **** slow and 24years old, it did well. There was a LeMons Mustang out testing aswell and it gave us some thoughts... We need to put the car on a diet bigtime. Weight has to be removed in order for us to keep pace with the higher hp cars. We're trying to keep the dash and some other interior pieces intact but the rear glass, sound deadening and door skins will be removed. We also decided to not use a SWEET C4 Vette muffler as planned, opting for a rice cannon instead. Saved 10lbs though.



We could not be doing this without the generous help and support of the following great shops and companies.

Zero Hour Motorsports- Honda/Acura Specialists www.zhmotorsports.com

Alamo Autosports- Import Performance Specialists www.alamoautosports.com

Vick Racing- Vintage Race Restoration and Safety/Track Gear Sales www.vickracing.us

Rotary Performance- Rotary Specialists/Gods www.rx-7.com

Pro-Tuning Performance- Import Performance Specialists www.protuningperformance.com
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Old 10-15-08, 11:54 PM
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Very cool! Good luck on your effort. Looks to me you need to put a few more dents in the body panels and dirty up the rims some before you go though tech.

(4.4: BSF Factor: To prevent cheating, all cars will be inspected by a panel appointed by the organizers. At that time, all teams will be given an opportunity to describe the car's purchase and prep. If the panel believes the limit set out in Rule 4.1 ($500 investment ) has been exceeded, it will assign a Bullshit Factor (BSF) equal to one BSF per ten dollars above the limit. The entry will be docked one lap for each BSF assigned. (Ten dollars = one BSF = one lap.) Entrants are encouraged to bring all supporting evidence and make up plausible-sounding stories in advance.)

Remember it's not a horsepower race, it all about running the most laps.

Paul
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Old 10-16-08, 10:18 AM
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Sound deadening is a bitch to get out. I highly suggest dry ice for that project, and I highly suggest you give the task to the annoying guy/kid that wants to hang out. Two benefits: it gets done (sometimes not so well) and you usually don't have to deal with them anymore.

You want to keep the dash, but it's heavy. So is the wiring. You don't need any lights, except maybe headlights -- have one of your wiring savvy folks de-wire the car. If you're keeping a minimal of wires, it's actually quite easy and doesn't take long. The whole harness weighs over 50 pounds, I imagine gauge wires and headlights are somewhere well below 10.

The hood is heavy as ****. Cut out the bracing on the under side, and if you think its too flimsy, weld in an x to the bottom with angle iron or round bar or whatever you have around.

The entire exhaust heat shield setup under the car weighs somewhere around 20 pounds, depending on how much crud and mud buildup you have on yours. I've removed 40 pounds off some cars if you add in that extra crap weight.

If you do all that, you should be looking at a sub-2000 pound car, depending on whether or not the rollbar is ERW (1.75") or DOM (1.5"). If it's DOM, sell it to somebody building a spec car after the race!
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Old 10-16-08, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Gadd View Post
Very cool! Good luck on your effort. Looks to me you need to put a few more dents in the body panels and dirty up the rims some before you go though tech.

(4.4: BSF Factor: To prevent cheating, all cars will be inspected by a panel appointed by the organizers. At that time, all teams will be given an opportunity to describe the car's purchase and prep. If the panel believes the limit set out in Rule 4.1 ($500 investment ) has been exceeded, it will assign a Bullshit Factor (BSF) equal to one BSF per ten dollars above the limit. The entry will be docked one lap for each BSF assigned. (Ten dollars = one BSF = one lap.) Entrants are encouraged to bring all supporting evidence and make up plausible-sounding stories in advance.)

Remember it's not a horsepower race, it all about running the most laps.

Paul
As I understand it wheels, tires, brake materials, racing seat, belts, and cage are excluded from the money as they are considered to be safety items.
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Old 10-16-08, 01:02 PM
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tires doesn't mean wheels right? I thought it meant tires for stock or cheap wheels.
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Old 10-16-08, 03:22 PM
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From http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/rules/

4.2: Safety Equipment DOES NOT Count Toward $500 Total: Safety equipment described in Section 3 DOES NOT count toward the $500 total. There is NO LIMIT on safety-equipment spending. Tires, wheels, and brake components are also considered safety equipment and DO NOT count toward the $500 total. While not mandatory, additional safety items such as fuel cells and plumbed fire suppression systems are highly recommended and DO NOT count toward the $500 total. Exhaust systems aft of the header DO NOT count toward the $500 total.
So you can run $4000 worth of volk magnesium wheels if you really wanted to, but I don't think it's worth it, heh. I believe that if your car gets destroyed by the officials they give you 30 minutes to pull out your valuable safety parts as well but I couldn't find it in the rules.

Last edited by Gene; 10-16-08 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 10-16-08, 05:15 PM
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Ok cool, that make it a lot better for my future plans.
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Old 10-16-08, 08:10 PM
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In reality, my post had more to do with the mostly... no, totally arbitrary way the BSF is applied to a contestant. There judgment may have more to do with now clean your nickers are than anything else.

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Old 10-16-08, 11:58 PM
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yeeeeaaa LeMons, woot
the price limit is very easy to get pass, i have helped build a volvo 244 with a 302 for lemons and got no bs points, the team right now is also building a 16 valve 242 volvo and a ford fiesta ill see if i can post some pics up of the thunderhill race coming up in december
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Old 10-17-08, 12:31 AM
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Anyone want a co-driver? I live close to the track, lol.
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Old 10-17-08, 02:26 PM
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Good luck with your effort! As was mentioned above, power isn't what wins a Lemons race. Dead nuts reliability and smart/conservative racing is the formula. At Detroit this year, we had probably the fastest car in a straight line (big boosting Saab 900 turbo) and were passing 2-3 cars per lap. That was all great until the car overheated and blew the head gasket 3 hours in. We finished 46th of 52.
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Old 10-22-08, 07:53 PM
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POST Race Update:

Well in a last ditch thrash the car was completed Friday afternoon. We loaded everything up and headed towards Houston. In Huntsville, about an hour and a half north of Houston, we realized the trailer keys had been lost... This topped the day off, as nothing seemed to be going smoothly. Arby's was out of roast when we stopped to eat dinner... I mean, come on! Recounting all the drama would take too long but we made it to the hotel around 4am and the locksmith came about a half hour later to save the day.

After an hour of sleep we were off to the track. Once unloaded we took the car over to tech inspection. The judges instantly labelled us as cheaters sicne we brought an rx-7 and sent us off to impound. They thought we were too organized, with matching RX-7.COM t-shirts, an itemized cost report and "an answer for everything." After being docked 2 laps, 1 because they were sure we were cheating but couldn't prove it and 1 because wet paint on the door ruined one inspectors jeans.

After about 20mins of yellow, they finally dropped the green flag and our first driver made their way through traffic. After the attrition kicked in, I jumped in for my stint. I managed to loop it coming out of turn one and promptly pulled into the penalty box. The judges decided they'd be seeing more of us and sent us on our way w/o the standard 30min penalty.

Unfortunately about 15min into my stint the car began to sputter terribly, losing power for extended periods of time only to come back into full power briefly. I ended my stint and we changed the fuel filters and prayed. For the rest of the day the car would drive great for 2-5laps, then begin acting up. Instead of pulling in and trying to figure out the problem, we decided to just get our drivers out on track and rack up laps... even at a terribly slow pace. A lower water pipe that had a hole we JB welded when building the car leaked, the clutch for the radiator fan stopped working and the top tank of the radiator cracked. All were fixed in stunningly ghetto ways except for the radiator, which we had a spare thanks to the guys at RX-7.com

Saturday night, the Rotor-Heads team lent us a fuel pump, I cleaned the carb's jets and needles and the fuel filters were changed once again. We were simply too beat to work on the car for long Saturday night and decided to get some sleep before attacking the car in the morning. Sunday we woke up and replaced fuel pump, the entire feed line, bypassed the roll-over valve incase it was clogged. The radiator that cracked Saturday was JB welded incase the spare bit the dust. We also rigged a fuel filter in the engine bay to act as a surge tank. The fuel pump from Saturday must have been clogged, which didn't present itself during testing or during low rpm driving, but on track, with sustained high rpm use... it couldn't keep the carb's bowls full. So the car would sputter and break up until the bowls filled... then give full power until they drained... rinse and repeat.

We got out on track about an hour late on Sunday and the car was a rocket. There were only a few cars that we couldn't outpace. Infact, we set the 8th fastest laptime of the entire event. The car was fast and fun! One of our drivers locked up the brakes and went off course sending us to the penalty box. Locking up the front brakes was quite easy despite the rear drums leaking... and not functioning. This made for a wild drive. For punishment, a sheetmetal chicken was welded to the roof. Around noon, the People's Curse destroyed a cow themed Miata... little did we know its destruction would visit us.

I jumped in for my Sunday stint and after 40-45min, I managed to lose it in Turn 1 AGAIN!! The car got wicked sideways, I got it back pointed straight... but straight at the gravel trap. So after my trip to the beach, I visited the penalty box... where they decided our car needed to be more Mazda. Being a hardcore Mazda guy myself I was a bit confused until they grabbed a twisted fender torn off the cow Miata earlier in the day. It was welded to the hood and we were sent on our way.

The rest of the day was pretty smooth. We had to change back to the original radiator due to a leak in the spare and we began throwing alternator belts. We had a little contact due to other aggressive drivers and one of our drivers brushed the tire wall chicane. All in all, the car and all of our drivers had great pace and if we had brought a spare fuel pump to swap Saturday we would have placed much better. In the end, we finished 44th of 76. Not stellar but it was 12 positions up from Saturday. Enough blabbering:













We could not be doing this without the generous help and support of the following great shops and companies.

Zero Hour Motorsports- Honda/Acura Specialists www.zhmotorsports.com

Alamo Autosports- Import Performance Specialists www.alamoautosports.com

Vick Racing- Vintage Race Restoration and Safety/Track Gear Sales www.vickracing.us

Rotary Performance- Rotary Specialists/Gods www.rx-7.com

Pro-Tuning Performance- Import Performance Specialists www.protuningperformance.com
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