I’ve been working on the plumbing and wiring in the Race Wagoon. Fuel lines, brake lines, oil cooler, radiator – geez, a whole bunch of hoses! Then wiring the battery master, coil, starter, MSD, gauges – all this stuff adds up in both weight and expense…
Archives for June 2010
My Lil’ Red Wagon finally got its motor. Since I don’t have a lift in my garage (wouldn’t that be nice), I hooked the transmission up before the installation. I discovered that the length of the early ‘A’ type comp trans combined with the motor makes for one very tight fit. Tilt the motor, lower the motor, tilt some more, lower some more, wiggle to the side, repeat ten times, and it finally dropped in. Just don’t try it with the radiator in or any accesories hooked up. I had to extend the trans tunnel hole rearward about six inches to make room for the shifter. Then I discovered what most 510 owners already know, you have to remove the steering box to install longtube headers. The number three primary tube still hits the steering box, so a little more fitting is still required.
To go along with the wagon’s IRS conversion, I planned to replace the old U-jointed axles with CV joint halfshafts. In theory, CV joints have less friction, so that allows more power to get to the wheels. They are also less prone to failure under racing conditions, especially when using a welded differential. I am using BMW E9 CV joints and axles (got ’em used from a BMW dismantler), stock stubs, and had the steel adapters machined up for me. My buddies at IEM Racing and The Moore Speed Co were integral in making this DYI kit work for me.
My guess is that never in the history of mankind have aftermarket intake and exhaust manifolds fit without quite a bit of filing and grinding. The “quick” project of making sure the carbs and headers fit properly before dropping the motor in turned into a several hour session with pneumatic, electric, and hand tools.
This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to design a racecar cockpit from scratch, putting gauges and switches where I’d like them. If I end up not enjoying the ergonomics, nobody to blame but myself. During 23 years as a commercial pilot, I’ve spent a lot of time in both good and bad cockpits, so I’ve got some ideas on what I want from this one. Good lines of sight, easy reach for everything, and simple egress.