The Rest of the Story

by

The idea goes public, in private:

First you need to know that we’re really a bunch of racing nerds, that got together to form an All American team for an internet based Grand Prix management game (GPRO).

Brian comes to us with this simple thought:

24 Hours of LeMonshttp://www.24hoursoflemons.com/

 

My brother and I have been chatting about this for a couple of months. I would really like to make this happen one day.

I can’t think of a better way to wast some hard earned dollars. Just think… you build a race car and have it crushed because the track officials believe you spent more than 500 dollars on it….. Sounds like fun … Right?

I can see it now…… Red White and Blue….. something…. with American Aggression Racing covering the hood.

Of course everbody loves the idea, who doesn’t want to get together with friends and race crap cans, just ask Tony George.  After some initial support, Brian starts to formulate the plan:

The way I see it we need a car that is lightweight and has great handling abilities and is screaming fast. The track at Carolina Motorsports Park, Kershaw SC seems to be tight with a few nice long open straightaways. After looking at the videos from a past race at CMP http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=O4Kd3wEVQJs  it seems that these 2 cars would do just fine there….. This http://media.photobucket.com/image/lotus/bli8/Lotus_GT.jpg?o=15 http://media.photobucket.com/image/porsche%20gt3/Yogotta/Porsche/0112.jpg?o=49

                                     Or

But with the budget limited to 500 dollars(insert craigslist adds of rolling heaps)

 This is probably more our speed 

 In the O’Neal garage I personally have 3 SHO’s http://s418.photobucket.com/albums/pp265/ilovemy97sho/ 2 97’s and one 96.
A 95 Miata (Wife’s old car) and a 07 Si Civic (also wife’s car). The Miata would be perfect for this race, but I have already been informed that it’s not available for me to race. One of the 97 SHO’s is wrecked in the right front (Wife wrecked it) it could be fixed to race…. Just not sure I am prepared to do that just yet. I also have an old ½ mile dirt track racecar available to me. It’s got a STRONG 350 in it (at least a level 6 engine
GPRO humor) with a full cage, racing seat and everything else needed to run this race. It’s a Buick regal body on a 69 Chevelle frame. It would require a good bit of work just to make it go straight. It’s a 3700 lbs car that would be rough on tires and would be impossible to but large enough brakes on it to get it to stop quickly. I would need to also change the camshaft to something that would make finish the race….. The one that’s in it now will turn right at 7700 rpm’s with the power coming in at 5600 rpm’s ….. It’s not very streetable. 

My brother Ken has a 4-cylinder manual Ford Probe that has just lost his will to live that might work with a different engine.

Building a cage and getting it race prepped will take some time to complete, but it’s conceivable…. The good thing is, my father-n-law has built many dirt track cars and seems to be very interested in this project.

I think it would be something to remember for a lifetime…… It’s going to happen

We still will need some drivers.

Lots of guys volunteer, but we’re all spread out across the country and nobody can really commit just yet.  Hey, its still December so its all good.  The more pressing matter is what to race.

We had thoughts of used 300z’s (we wish), old RX-7’s or early Mr-2’s (still not there yet), or to keep with our All-American theme, a Dodge Neon (doable, but now its a Fiat Neon so there went that idea).

In the end, Capt. Brian came to us with this gem:

A Honda CRX.  Or as I’ve always called them, an oversized rollerskate.  But beggers can’t be choosers my girlfriends always said, so CRX it is.  I did have my butt kicked by several of them on the autocross course, so they couldn’t really be that bad.  We thought we had one lined up in mid-January, but what do you know, the fool wanted to keep his scrap heap.

We continued looking, and while being spread across the country had its disadvatages, it also had some interesting benefits:

1) Mark B from Indianpolis was already angling for some used suits and helmets courtesy of some racing expereinces in the Indianapolis area.

2) We truly were scouring the country for cars and parts by using everyone’s zip codes to check craigslist (where else are you going to find junk that nobody else wants)

Finally, in early february we came across the carcass we’d need to get the job done.

Its a start It’s a start

So we were off to start buying parts to finish it…which was practically a whole ‘nother car.  Brian would not be denied:

I am sure that some equipment will need to be shared. I have become convinced now that we need a complete running car that we can take parts off of. We just need too many parts other than just an engine and a trans. I believe that car we need is a 1990 to 1993 Acura Intrega with a manual shift trans. The engine would work perfectly in our CRX plus we can use the brakes off of it as well, along with many other parts. Remember our CRX is a 1991, so we need to get something close to that year so the wiring will not be such a pain. An even better option would be another CRX with a DOHC engine already in it….. DOHC being the key word here. I really need you guys to help me look for one. Remember we don’t care if it has a title or even been wrecked. I would actually prefer a wrecked car, because at least I knew it was running at the time of the accident.

Luckily we found another CRX in Mid-March, and it was on…

I will be picking up the other car TODAY from Savannah. It’s a 89 CRX si with a ZC SOHC engine. The clutch is shot and the valves need adjusting, but other than that it should work out just great. It’s going to cost us 400.00 so now we have 600.00 total invested in the 2 cars. I know the limit id 400.00, but this includes the roll cage, so by all accounts it’s still a 400.00 car all day long. I am so excited… I can’t wait to change the engine and all the other stuff we need, into the car with the cage.

Bring in the first victim! Bring in the first victim!The post goes out to AAR members in all corners, the team is official, and the process of getting this heap on track begins:

This weekend I spent some time with the car assessing some of the issues. First off the alternator is making terrible noises. The brake calipers in the front are leaking and need to be rebuilt. If we cant afford real brakes for the car I will rebuild the ones on the car for a spare and just purchase new calipers to race with. I adjusted the valve lash for all the valves…. it seemed to quiet the valves some, but at a high RPM they make noise. I believe it’s because the timing is too far advanced. I just ran out of daylight to confirm that. The clutch is shot, but it will need to be replaced anyway. Rear main is also leaking, but that’s easy to do when the engine comes out…. plus inexpensive.

All in all the motor seems very strong with NO real concerns and NO smoke. I told Ken, I believe it will take my SHO in the quarter mile if the clutch was working properly.

Now all thats left is to actually fix the thing:

On April 17-19 we will be putting the engine into the race car. lots of parts will need to be purchased before the swap can take place. Clutch is the big one, but we will also need some engine seals.

Should be a fun weekend in Southeast GA.

Several team members make it to the work day.  Hilarity ensues.  Some work actually gets done and we put the video up on YouTube so try to convince our wives that we weren’t just sitting around drinking beer;

Brian updates the team:

We just had an incredible weekend working on the 2 cars. We actually 5 of the 10 members of AAR at my home this past weekend changing the engine and suspension into the roll cage car. We have a lot of pictures and some video that Mark Meyers shot that will be posted up soon.

 

 

It was a lot of fun, we plan to get together real soon to get some more stuff done. I really wish more of you could make it and participate in the project….. Remember, we still need a couple of drivers

 

 

 

 

 

By early June, the car is actually looking like, well, a rolling heap of junk.  Its a thing of beauty.

Team O’Neal starts making test runs:

4 Responses to “The Rest of the Story”

  1. danielnharris Says:

    Great work on the blog guys. The videos are an awesome idea — showing that indeed our car does perform safely. I’m on my toes waiting for the application status as well. Talk to you later! – Dan Harris

  2. cbear3 Says:

    If only I’d thought of posting stuff in reverse order…damn blogs…

  3. Michael Almon Says:

    Looking good. There a good chance I can make it if we get approved, maybe even bring a few friends even. As for driving, I WANT to drive, but I understand if first priority is given to those who have donated, have worked on the car, and/or have racing experience, not to mention my funds are questionable at the moment. But it would fulfill one of my dreams to drive, so please???????

  4. aar24hceo Says:

    Chuck you are the man….. The changes to the site looks great

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