Monday, May 21, 2007

Back To Bear Essentials

The season is over and done with the exception of the extra race added at the last moment to raise money for a local charity. Actually we’ll use any excuse to get on the track. This seemed like a win win deal.

I’m not going to make an effort to run the charity event since I have been doing a serious revaluation of the condition of my car.

In addition to solving the front suspension problem (which I think we have finally figured out) I have discovered that the floor plan is spliced in several places.

One of the splices has a leading edge which could very easily grab at a high spot on the track surface and rip the floor pan right out from under the area where I sit. Since I sit directly on that self-same floor pan, this raises images that I do not like to consider. A new floor pan is in order.

Added to that, I have been getting in and out of the car a good bit. One of the problems that showed up on the test day was a matter of having the roll bar braces in the wrong place to fit me.

The brace comes down meet a point where it works with the triangulation of the frame to reinforce the roll bar and at the same time add to the rigidity of the chassis. Unfortunately it also cuts right across my arms in such a way as to pin my elbows in and forces me to drive by moving only my wrist and forearms. Not good. It also makes it difficult to shift gears since I can not move my arm to reach the lever. Large bears need more space. I have to do it by turning my hand sideways and use my fingers. At NPR we shift six to ten times per lap. Change needed.
Another problem was that the starter didn’t want to work. I know the problem is in the wiring rather than the starter or the new battery. After sitting in Sal’s garage for so many years the dissimilar metals have caused corrosion on the terminals. It needs to be cleaned or replaced or even better completely rewired.

I am now at the point of deciding to do what I should have done in the first place. Stop taking half measures in an effort to get on the track and go ahead and strip the thing back down to the frame and rebuild it so that it will work and be safe.

Decision made. Back to the frame and start over. If I had done this in the first place, it would be finished by now.


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