March 29, 2012

Build Weekend... Again!

Blueberry - 4x4 Status
As Blueberry's track conversion continues, all of the wear and tear of daily driving is coming to light. Just before my other motor was rebuilt at Wankel Works, I began to notice increased drag from the rear wheels. The increased drag quickly lead to a loud whine from the differential. Since the differential was in need of replacement, it made sense to completely disassemble and clean everything else. I referred to the Factory Service Manual (FSM) for the removal procedure and I began to break down all of the rear suspension components.

Since Blueberry was my daily driver for years in the Northeast, I have one word: Rust. When disassembling the rear, I discovered that my tie rods were not only rusted, but completely frozen solid in place. That is when the RE-Zelse team and Luis from Wankel Works assembled together down in Pennsylvania to help me finish the work I started.

Removed frozen rear tie rod
When the impact gun, torch, punch, and 5lb hammer failed to free the tie rod it was time to start cutting. This could be one of the most aggravating situations to deal with as a Grassroots Racer. To avoid dealing with other components having rust-related issues, I will be experimenting with different metal treatments such as Naval Jelly. Look forward to a DIY in the near future about this.

We are currently still hacking away at the other tie rod bolt and once the remaining tie rod is out of the way, there is plenty of other work to tackle. Once we're done, I can't wait to break in the new engine and also feel out the new delrin differential bushings from John, Marc's co-driver for this season (thanks John!). Below is a run down on what the team is planning on finishing this weekend:
  • Swap Differentials
  • Delrin Differential Bushings
  • Realign Clutch
  • Reassemble Drivetrain
  • Replace (F/R) Tie Rods and Rear Camber Links
  • Lube Sway Bar Bushings
  • Reassemble Suspension
  • Replace D-F Caliper Mount and Floating Pin
  • Reassemble Brake System
  • Flush Clutch Fluid
  • Reassemble Exhaust System
  • Troubleshoot Ignition
  • Double-Check For Any Other Issues
On a positive note, guess what? My first race of the season at New Jersey Motorsports Park is only 21 days away!
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