More prep, and selling parts

Getting really close to hanging this back in the car…

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Click the image to open in full size.

Sold my TPR-1 head today, pulled it off the old block to inspect it. Head looks good after about 100k miles. Cam had some visible galling after about 125k miles, time for a new one.
Cylinders and pistons look good. A little carbon on the pistons, but not much considering the mileage. Meth works wonders.
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Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Tomorrow will install the Greene Performance slave, start on the Aquamist, and might hang the engine… Also need to work on fixing my flex joint on the old header, to use for a little while. Might fire up the welder and DIY it…

Prepping the stroker, and OSG LSD

Good progress today…

Started the swap-over of stuff to the new motor.

Swapping the valve covers gave me a chance to gander at the internals of the new head…
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Installed plugs per Jan’s spec, confirmed proper gap of 0.028″
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Was going to swap over my ATI Super Damper… but broke 6 T40 bits trying to remove a bolt to pull it. One of which flew into my forehead and drew blood…
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Two bolts came out fine, no others would budge. Finally punted and ordered a new damper. Current one has almost 100k miles on it, probably time to rebuild anyway, if I can ever get it off.

Pulled the transmission and cracked open the case. Actually looked nice and clean for a 76k mile tranny… that’s good.
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Click the image to open in full size.

There was a nice collection of metallic goo on the magnet inside…
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That’s better…
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Pressed the ring gear off the factory LSD…
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Click the image to open in full size.

And pressed it onto the new OS Giken LSD…
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Pressed on a new pair of bearings…
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Click the image to open in full size.

Where it belongs. Bolts torqued with red loctite.
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Case sealed and reassembled…
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Swapped clutch onto the new motor, and fitted the transmission. Started swapping over brackets, sensors, oil filter housing, intake manifold studs, thermostat and stuff. Almost there…
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Click the image to open in full size.

About an hour tomorrow to finish up installing starter, hoses and engine harness… and it will be ready to hang! But I’m going to detour to installing meth system and gauge/datalogger system first, while the engine is out.

Farewell old friend… you have served me well for 160k miles. But time to move on.

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Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Gettin’ ready to stroke

More progress. Apparently, when you do something a lot, you get better at it. I’m getting good at pulling MINI engines.

Engine disconnected, key parts removed, ready to pull…
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Click the image to open in full size.

Hook up the crane and lift…
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Bay is ready for some stroking’…
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Old and new together… ready for the parts swap….
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Supplies…

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Yes, I’m going to run lawn mower oil and diesel truck oil in my uber expensive built engine. For a short while.

Gettin’ it up

Getting ready to take things up a notch…
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Ordered the MaxJax a couple of months ago, they were on backorder and had to wait for a new shipment to come across the pond. Arrived today like this:
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I ordered from Scott Matthews at Big Boys Garage Toys. He had a great price and great service and communications. I ordered online on a Sunday. He called me within 10 minutes (on Sunday) to let me know the unit was on backorder, gave me an ETA, and made sure that was OK. The shipment arrived when he said it would, it shipped immediately from the distributor, Scott notified me that it had shipped and provided a tracking number. The unit made it cross country in only three days via Con-Way freight. Delivered to my driveway in perfect condition. Couldn’t ask for more.

Really brilliant packaging, actually.

15 seconds to cut off the plastic and one plastic strap, and move one box, and you have this:
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One minute to cut three steel straps, move the arms, a couple of boxes, a few other large parts and some cardboard, and you have this:
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Click the image to open in full size.

A few minutes to put on 4 wheels, remove 10 bolts connecting the end frames, stand things up and roll into the garage. Done with unpacking. Total time to unpack from the shipping frame: about 10 minutes. Easy Peasy. Helps to use a floor jack to lift under the uprights a bit to remove the ends.

When you’re done, this is all that’s left over – these end frames, three steel straps, one plastic strap, 10 bolts, some cardboard and some plastic wrap turn the MaxJax system into a single shippable, stackable unit. Pretty smart.
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My new hammer drill won’t be here until Tuesday, and I’m traveling next week, so it won’t get installed until Saturday 7/18. Then I can get wrenching on Locutus again. I did enough measuring before ordering to know it would fit in the garage, but I still need to do detailed layout to decide exactly where I want to put it. I’ll play around with that this weekend and get the floor marked, so I’m ready to drill.

I also need to finish stripping the GP this weekend, so I can roll it out of the garage to make room for the lift install…

***
First time I’ve put the Mini on the lift… it works!
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Pulling bumpers, axles, etc. is sooooo much easier at eye level.

And this is the way to drain engine and transmission oil…
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Progress for the day: Pulled bumper, wheels, axles, wheel liners, x-brace, intercooler, header, airbox. Started disconnecting harness. Drained fluids.
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Took new header to my exhaust shop to have second O2 bung added. They called an hour later to tell me it’s done, will get it tomorrow. Then will probably ship to Jet-Hot for Extreme 2500 white coating.

Beer time. Carolina Brewing Summer Ale. Yum.
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Strokin’

Well, this arrived…

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Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

RMW 1.8 stroker w/high lift Dominator cam, new rockers, LawdJeeezusMFinBootlegFireworks Head, 550cc injectors, plugs, gaskets, OS Giken LSD and RMW axles.

Custom RMW race header and brake ducts are on the way.

Moar GPness

Yeah, I’ve pulled the engine a time or two. But I’ve been pretty careful with the header since the last time it was broken…

More GPness arrived today…
Uprated fuel pump, because I will be using more of it.
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Howerton meth system with custom 3gal fuel cell and AN lines. Will be a week or two before I get it plumbed.
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Click the image to open in full size.

Installed the meth gauge and my Zeitronics AFR/Boost/EGT gauge in Craven pods. They don’t do anything yet, but they look pretty.
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And my “spare” set of NT01’s arrived.
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CMP Track Weekend

Great first weekend at the track for Locutus
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This weekend was mostly about me getting my confidence back (after the tire wall incident on the same track, last time out), and getting acclimated to the car with all the big changes (manual transmission! LSD brakes tires).

Other than breaking my flex joint (again), the car performed spectacularly. Took me a day or so to get into the groove, then made a lot of progress on the second day. Not sure why the flex joint broke… I have very little engine movement with the excellent VT mounts. But it gives me an excuse to upgrade to the RMW race header, when I install the stroker. Luckily, it really didn’t impact the drivability of the car on track. Just makes it sound like a race car, and makes the tunnel hot.

I need a LOT of work on my shifting (heel/toe rev matching, downshifts while braking hard). Biggest weakness right now. But that’s not the car’s fault. I was hoping the work I did on that in them mountains last month would be sufficient prep. It wasn’t.

I really love what the car can do on sticky tires. The 15″ NT01/6UL setup is da bomb. I ordered a “spare” set of NT01’s so I’ll have some on hand whenever I need them. I should be able to get 6-8 more days out of the current set, from the looks of it.

Here’s my last (and best) lap of the weekend. Working on chasing down a new Stingray.

I DO need more LSD, and I DO need more brake cooling. I was pushing the limits of the factory LSD with current power levels. Forget about it with the stroker. Was going to put a Cusco LSD in, but availability issues pushed me over the edge to order the OS Giken from Jan. Brakes did well until the last session where I was building speed and braking later, overheated them the last couple of laps, even with the BBK. Ordered brake duct brackets from Jan and will modify to fit my setup. XP10/XP8 combo performed well, I need to get smoother with my pedal action.

This was my first Tar Heel Sports Car Club event (third try was the charm). I was VERY impressed by their level of organization, quality of classroom and in-car instruction, and friendliness of the people. A very diverse and inclusive group, which made for big fun all weekend. Vintage cars, Lemons cars, M3s, Corvettes, Mustangs, Porsches, Race cars, street cars… there was some of everything. I was the ONLY Mini, out of probably 70 cars. Lots of curious folks stopped by to talk. That was fun. This club does lots of autocross and rallycross events in central and eastern NC, as well as two weekends at VIR and one weekend at CMP each year. I need to make it out to an autocross soon. Will be at the VIR full course event in September, with MOAR POWER and MOAR BRAKING.

Any track event you can drive home from, is a good one, in my book.
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Track Shoes, mounted

Got wheels mounted, figured out spacing. I only needed 12mm front, and about 3mm rear. Currently on 5mm rear because that’s what I had available. And, with the 12mm, I have PLENTY of length on my existing studs – so I don’t need to uber long ones that are coming tomorrow. LOL

No, I’m not using these nuts. Just spun them on while testing fitment. I’m using good nuts with the stud sticking out.

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Took them out to my local playground road and scrubbed them in. Got them up to about 75% of track temperature. OMG, they’re awesome. And I know I’m not close to their full potential yet. Not only super sticky, but the car is more responsive overall with them, and they spin up much faster than even my light 16’s. So the car feels even torquey-er than before. Feels stupid fast, actually.

I can tell already, this is gonna be a good thing… 

The Hauler

Made a run to Harbor Freight, and, as always, came home with a carload of Chinese Goodness.

After a couple of hours of assembly, the track trailer is taking shape.
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Will try to finish it this weekend, with wheel mounts and toolbox. And wiring that works (need to add hardwired grounds).

Coming together… I found a 37″ long diamond plate truck box at Tractor Supply that is PERFECT for this application, fits tightly between the side rails. Like it was made for this. Nice secure dry lockable storage.

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The open rear works perfectly as a wheel carrier for 4 wheels. Just need to strap them down and run a cable lock through for minimal security.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan View Post
You need some sticky tires for the trailer otherwise it will be all over the place in the corners.

Seriously… my buddies and I were just discussing how fast this thing could go in the twisties… because the route we did on the way to MOTD this year was as serious as anything we did after we got to MOTD (we did six classic NC destination roads in ONE DAY.. HARD).

Discussing putting classic Mini wheels and sticky tires on it, bending the axle to get some camber… we’ve gone full retard.

Got it sticker bombed for an extra 50 hp. Bolted the box down and loaded it up. Test drove it around the neighborhood looking like full retard. Backed it into the driveway to prove I could.

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Click the image to open in full size.

Will have my new wheels back, with tires mounted, tomorrow. Can test fit on the car, then load up the trailer and test drive some more. Illegally, of course, until I receive the title paperwork from Harbor Freight.