Sunday, February 14, 2010

Excuse me, your chassis is showing...

Ok, so back on the 6th I posted a few pictures of the car. I stated that we were just going to start working on the suspension. Well, things have progressed a little so I thought that I would post a few pictures to update you on progress!

You know, it's a pain in the butt to work on Mini Stocks due to the Stock body parts. During this process on a Late Model, you leave the body off until you are done with all the chassis updates and assembly. So that's what we did!

Remember this shot?

Well, these ones were taken about 11am yesterday...

A few strategic cuts and bingo! No more body parts to get in the way!

At this point, I've been going a little nutty with the cutting wheel. You can see on the left that the fuel cell and battery box have been removed along with the rear firewall and a few other items.

This photo and the next one were snapped at about 4:30pm. As you can see, the only thing left in the back are a couple of fuel lines. In the cockpit you can see the switch panel is still there and the wiring harness.

And the front of the car... you can see that the brake lines, booster, wiring harness are all gone now. Not too bad for about 5 hours of work, eh? At this point, we have some grinding to do and a few more subtractions and we can then start doing the adds that we wanted to do. All this effort is going to make the car safer and hopefully, an outstanding performer.
There are some pretty damn talented people working with us on this project and I'll be introducing them to you as we go along. Stay tuned for the next installment... who knows what state the car will be in then!

Friday, February 12, 2010

How Many Engine options does one really need???

Today's post features one of the things that are foreign to us as we venture into full blown Honda ownership. Engine selection and the plethora of options available to us.  

Back in the old days, we had 2 tried and true motor options for our VW... the 1.6L (mouse) and the 1.8L (Mule). People had played around with limited or no success with the 2.0L motors, so all of us VW guys ran one of these 2 motors. 8 valve versions of course as back then, 4 valve heads were not legal, we all ran a Holley 350 carb (F.I. wasn't legal then either) and the only computers near the car were when it was at the shop and somebody was playing Solitaire on the desktop PC in the office.

Now, as you know we have a Honda. Here are the Honda Motor options:

  • B-series

        Yeah... you can see that this is a little more confusing than before. In layman's terms, it's like this.  

        VW Motor build: Find a junkyard living motor, build a stout bottom end, work over head(port, polish, valve grind, cam, etc.), fine tune carb, add MSD, install and go!

        Honda Motor build: Spend a gazillion hours on the Internet and phone figuring out best powerplant to start with, More hours on Internet sourcing internal parts to fit said motor, Install parts, Install bigger cams and better valve springs which cost much more than their VW counterparts(Note: No porting and polishing allowed!on the twin cam cars!), Rewire harness to remove unnecessary stuff, install motor, reconnect wiring harness correctly, cross fingers and hope car starts, take to dyno and tune computer -OR- transplant in a JDM(Japanese Domestic Market) low mile used engine/computer/transmission, leave it relatively untouched (which still is a pain in the butt) and go!

        Of course, You also have to decide, V-tec or Non V-tec, Single or Twin cam, Hydraulic or Cable clutch...

        I think between LaCrash and I, our collective heads are going to explode soon from the sheer volume of information we have to process. We have approx. 4 weeks until 1st practice and there is still so much to do, I don't know what to tackle first, but rest assured, come race day, we will be there and ready to do battle in the BEST Mini Stock class in the NW.

        By The Way, it's also time once again to remind everyone that if you are interested in Marketing Opportunities with Team LaCross, we would love to talk to you. Marketing with Team LaCross is a great way to reach thousands of potential customers not only in the Seattle area, but statewide as we plan on trying to make a few out of town races as well this season.  Click the link on the right hand side of this page to send us a message or e-mail with your contact information and we will be happy set up a meeting with you to discuss a Marketing Partnership with Team LaCross.

    Saturday, February 6, 2010

    Team LaCross buys... A Honda????

    Well, more accurately, an Acura.

    It's been a long, strange off season to be sure. We spent a few months deciding what class we wanted to race, Late Models or Mini Stocks. We already own the Late Model, but really want to buy a straight rail car. We did not own a Mini Stock, but a number of cars were available.

    Racing wise, we really wanted to be back out in the Late Model. But running the Mini last season reminded us that Racing could be FUN, not just work. So after much debate and deliberation, it was decided that we would return to the Mini Stock class for 2010.

    Next was what car to purchase. Did we want to buy the car we ran the year previous? There were a number of VW's available for sale, along with a couple of rear wheel drive options. When the stars aligned, we ended up buying a 1991 Acura Integra. Yes, you heard it... the VW boys have officially jumped onto the Honda bus.

    Here is a photo of the car up on the lift at the shop. We purchased the car as race ready, but you know better than to think we were going to let it go at that! We have stripped off the doors, pulled all the tin, lexan and damaged bits at this point and were giving it a once over before pulling the motor.

    This photo was taken last night. I'm sure many of you are familiar with this look right now as we all prepare our cars for battle. There is still some pressure washing to do and then we will begin reworking the suspension, inspecting each and every line, nut and bolt, replacing what doesn't meet our standards.

    There it is, the old power plant. You know, it sure does look bigger than the old VW 1.8 liter, especially with that extra cam!  And what on earth is that big silver thing? Fuel  Injection??? Hey, I'm an old Carb guy, I don't know about these new fangled induction systems :-)

    A number of people have asked me, "Eddie, why this car? Why not a VW?" Well, it's like this. We have won a lot of races and championships in a VW. Then, last year we were able to make Tonya(a Honda) a race winner and Championship threat and she wasn't even our car. So when it came decision time and the Acura became available, it was a new challenge. A chance to take a car that has little performance history and see if we have what it takes to make it a championship caliber ride. It boils down to us wanting to challenge ourselves, to see if we can take the ideas we had swimming around in our heads last season as we drove Tonya and see if they will be successful.

    First practice is coming up fast and we will be hard at work for the next month or so working on the car. I will be posting photos and keeping updates as frequently as I can, so keep stopping by! And hey, if you're in the neighborhood, stop by the shop and say hello. Maybe we will take a little break, fire up the blender and the the Rock Band and have an impromptu party... you just never know!