Thursday, May 24, 2007

A New Plan

With the decision to go back to the frame and start over, comes a multitude of opportunities that I had avoided before.

This would be the time to do some serous clean up in the engine bay. I have never been satisfied with the oil cooler arrangement. It is clever and it works, but the deflector tray which routs air from the intake ducts to oil cooler is large and is always in the way when you are trying to get to the engine. It must be removed every tine you want to work on it. There has to be a simpler way to solve the problem. Simple is good.

There is a persistent oil leak at the sump cover. With the engine out of the car, that can be fixed.

This would also be the perfect time to install the zero roll stiffness rear suspension. A "zero roll" rear end has a number of handling advantages that make it well worth while. I had not attempted this before because of the other changes that it would necessitate. Like installing a whole new exhaust system. The existing one would not clear the new suspension members.

Fortunately we have most of the parts required to build the zero roll system. We can have an exhaust system fabricated locally.

With everything stripped off the car I can turn the chassis upside down and replace the offending floor pan. I can’t get over the thoughts of what could happen if the bottom grounded out at high speed. These cars have so little ground clearance that might happen at several points on the track. Does the idea of having someone run a high-speed belt sander over your ass get your attention? It sure does mine.

I have wanted to rewire the car. What is there is twenty years worth of cut and patch engineering. I would not be surprised if some of the wires had not been put in place when the Dassinger’s built the car in 1986.

Re-plumbing the brake and clutch lines falls into the same category. It has been there forever and carries several coats of paint to prove it.

This would be the time to address the roll bar brace problem. With the chassis stripped bare, any welding that needs to be done to accommodate updates is much easier. It would also be a good time to decide wether to change the front shock mounts and remove the existing shock towers. This is a new item allowed by the formula first rules which was prohibited by the Vee rules.

With the floor pan off and any modifications welded in place the chassis could then be sand blasted to remove scale and rust and repainted or powder coated, before starting the reassembly. With everything clean and in place it is much easier to work on and maintain the car.

Now we’re having fun.


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