Friday, February 26, 2010

New 944 Race Motor. Last Great Excuse Gone.

My last really great excuse as to why I was running at the back of the pack is going to be gone. I was using a 140,000 mile original NA engine in my 944 SPEC car. But with a new season coming, and one that includes 3 enduros, I needed to get a new motor. Note I said, needed.

I figured better to do this before the season starts than wait for the inevitable blowing of my 83 engine. 

To start with, I needed a new core. And as 1988 is the hot motor year to have in SPEC because of a tic higher compression and rev limit, as well as improved oiling I hunted down a donor motor. I found a complete 88 engine including AFM and computer on Ebay and had it delivered to Dave Dirks at 944 Motorwerks. Lucky for me, this 944 NA engine specialist lives in CO but does motors for racers across the country.

Dave offers a number of build options, but none too crazy as the rules in SPEC do not allow for much beyond a stock rebuild and mild valve work. Costs range with parts, labor and machine work from 2,000 - 3,000 dollars. And trust me, the vast portion of that is parts and machining. Dave's build rates are very reasonable.

Buying an Ebay motor is a risk but I got lucky. When stripped down all the bores were smooth and in spec. Even all the rods required no resizing. So my build is a straightforward one with a race valve job, micropolished crank and an improved oil pan and baffle. I am also adding in ports for a real oil temperature gauge and oil pressure warning light. You have to protect that new motor.

I can't wait to get a new motor in the car and see where my pace will be at. More info and pictures to come.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Porsche Radio Blanking Plate. Trompe L'oeil.

After removing about 60lbs of high-end stereo equipment from Schwartzie, I was not in the mood to replace it. Besides, with the M&K muffler, it is not the most sonically pleasant environment to listen to NPR or Coldplay or Lady Ga Ga or anything.

So, left with a gaping whole where the headunit used to reside, I needed to find a solution. Often, people just put in a metal plate with a Porsche badge. Boring. I thought I could do a little Trompe L'oeil magic though. Dropping some mad art terms here. But, basically it means fool the eye. 

So, I printed out a photo of a Blaupunkt face plate. Cleaned up the display in photoshop and then added the station call letters, "Flat Six", because that is what is always playing.

I've gone ahead and attached the properly sized files so you can replicate this idea yourself. I've included a blank one as well so you could add in your own text. Even if you don't have Photoshop, you could drop in some text in any number of programs including MS Word. Just click on the photo to get the full size image.

I then printed out the file. Shaped a piece of modeling pine to friction fit in the opening. I then used Mod Podge to decoupage the printout onto the opening. This also makes the print super durable and cleanable. I did eight coats of Mod Podge.

Hit me with any questions, enjoy and the raucous sounds of WSTT, Flat Six radio.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grassroots Motorsports Page Filler

I was ecstatic that Grassroots Motorsports featured me as their NASA member profile. It was odd but fun to be written about, instead of being the one doing the writing.

Pick up an issue today to read about me, or better yet to read about their $2009/$2010 challenge. A much better way to spend money on a cheap car than LeMons racing.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hunt for 901 Now on Kindle

Now, you can pick up a copy of my book for less than most euro car mags cost. No pictures, but on a words for dollars cost, it is a great deal.