Anglin's Racer Build and History

Documenting your big project with photos/videos? Have photos/videos to share of anything Merkur related? Place your links to photos and videos here. Please - Merkurs and Merkur-related pictures only. Cosworths welcome!!
Carlisle and event related pictures are to be placed in the relevant section under 'Events'.
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Anglin's Racer Build and History

Post by anglin » Wed May 10, 2006 8:10 am

All,

I put together a series of posts with pictures at the MSF "Project Garage" and I had enough work in it/decided it was valuable enough to post over here too. You'll have to pardon the subject line of the thread. I couldn't come up with anything interesting, so I made up some stuff. I figure if Frank Williams can have a chassis with his initials in it, then I can too. (Okay, that's REALLY a stretch...)

Read, look and enjoy!

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So, here it is - the pictoral and written history and current project pictures Anglin's mc�racing chassis number CA001. The car was purchased on October 20th, 1994 as a 1987 Strato Silver, C3 automatic-equipped XR4Ti, with cloth interior and 84,000 miles.

I'll open with one of my favorite pictures of the car in action, taken in 2001.

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The first day I owned the racer:

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I drove the car in stock form for two months and 11 days. On New Year's Eve 1994, the car received its first modification; a Rapido intercooler. The car then received T5 conversion in June 1995 (thanks in part to my first parts car, a red 85) and then a Borla dual exhaust in July 1995. Later in the summer, a Rapido SVO Plus kit was purchased and installed. All the while, a new engine was being prepped to put in the car.

Edit: Now that I have a little more time to add to this post, I will continue.

In addition to car modifications, 1995 brought about the first motorsport competition for mc�racing. Grayson and I drove the car to a second place in the novice class at a region TSD Rally. I was rather impressed with the feat, considering Grayson and I were still under 20 years of age.

Smoky burnout:

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In 1996, the old engine was removed and a different engine, rebuilt and more heavily modded, was put into place. Light polishing work was done to the cylinder head and backs of the stock valves, but nothing too aggressive. I didn't want to go overboard when I didn't completely understand everything in there. (Ahh, the wonderful days before internet access.) Additionally, the car received a Ford Motorsport A237 camshaft.

The racer in the early days with the parts car that gave up the critical components for the T5 swap:

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The car broke into the low/mid 14s with the new engine. I was thoroughly pleased as it would trounce a lot of "quick" cars back in that time period. There was a time when a 13 second quarter mile from a V8 street car was very respectable and a 14 second 4-banger would impress the crap out of most folks.

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Big life changes rolled through in 1997. Consequently, very little happened with the racer during this period. Plans were made but money just wasn't to be had. I guess the first year of marriage a new house will do that do you.

In 1998 the car received its first suspension modifications; BAT's 40 mm "racing" lowering springs and Spax adjustable dampers on all 4 corners. The car still soldiered on in its life as my primary transportation.

Lowered racer, in the middle of a swap to the winter tires:

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Money was still in generally short supply (I still am spread very thin, like any college student with a wife and a mortgage), but the purchase of the parts car in 1999 changed that just a little.

The parts car started a little cash flow and also created a phenomenon in the Anglin household called "the racing account," which was the beginning of the modern era of XR4Ti modifications. The parts car also allowed me to purchase a "beater" 85 XR4Ti from Matt Brautigam. Immediately I took the racer off the street. From that point on, the car was formed into something that didn't need to suffer from the same compromises that were required of a street car.

With the beater for transportation and Grayson's interest and budget supporting the beginning of his own autocross campaign in 1999, I found the motivation to make the racer into "the racer."

By the beginning of 2000, right after all the computers in the world crashed and the electical grid went down and we had to start boiling all of our water and hunting and forraging, I was ready with a set of critical suspension mods to accompany the Spax dampers and springs - a full Powerflex polyurethane suspension bushing kit. With the other requirements to get the car legal and quick, like replacement of a cracked windshield and a set of 15x7 wheels a BFG R1 225/50 15 R-compound tires, I had almost completely tapped out my funds for the season. I had to pay for event entry fees and a helmet, after all.

The 2000 autocross season progressed quite well in D Street Prepared trim and it took FTD at the Carlisle autocross for the first time.

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As 2001 rolled around, the car received a few other small mods. Most of them were detail type mods, as the car drifted slightly away from the "street car" to the "racer." I added an XR4x4 14 mm rear anti-roll bar, and XR4x4 viscous LSD (makes an amazing difference on corner exit) and other items like stainless steel brake lines. Most importantly, the BFG R1s were trashed during 2000 and replaced for 2001 by Kumho V700 tires. The 2001 season also saw the first turbo failure; a result of a failed wastegate actuator.

When 2002 came in the car again received a few small detail modifications and changes. Phil from OPMD, a sponsor at the time, provided a Cosworth grille. Brake rebuilding was performed and better front pads were installed. Additionally, a few other non-performance items were added, like a boost gauge, mounted to the car with one of my first successful fabrication projects.

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(Well, I guess the limit is 10 pictures per post. Oh well. I guess I'll keep adding text until it's time for a new batch of pictures here.)

A new engine rebuild project began when the 2002 season claimed the 2nd turbo failure of the car's racing history. This one was actually related to overspeed caused by a damaged compressor wheel. One of the symptoms of this problem is boost that steadily decreases after a specific rpm. This is when the turbo compressor wheel simply can't move enough air to sustain boost pressure as the rpm continues to increase.

I decided that the bits of two turbo bearings in the engine crankcase were enough and a rebuild was in order. It had been planned, but got forced into motion by the second turbo failure. Since I need more pictures, I guess it's time for a new post.

EDIT: subject line changed
Last edited by anglin on Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by anglin » Wed May 10, 2006 8:10 am

So, on with the story...

It's still 2002, and my turbo blew up. Blamo. Here's a picture taken BEFORE the turbo let go. I'm not sure what it ate, but a limited budget kept me racing on that turbo until the bearings started making police siren noises and smoke was puffing from the exhaust.

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BTW, you can see the attention to detail I was trying to employ. Note that some smoothing of the inside radius of the inlet casting as been smoothed out (while the brass fitting of the BPV system remains in the air stream...)

The car also received a full exhaust in 2002, simply so I could drive it to Carlisle without sustaining permanent hearing loss. The car had raced tor two years with simply the Sacremento Mustang downpipe on the car.

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The engine rebuild started to get into full swing in December 2002 and the first two months of 2003. The only problem was that I was going to be away from home from March until the beginning of November 2003. Blech; no racing, no car work for 8 months and 3 days. So, you can see my motivation. Here are some pictures taken during the motivated time.

block painted, ready for assembly:

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intake port and valve boss porting work:

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combustion chamber work, with larger exhaust valves:

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Esslinger Superlite round tooth pulley kit:

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Post by anglin » Wed May 10, 2006 8:11 am

Engine rebuild components, continued.

I installed an Unorthodox Racing underdrive pulley and fabricated a custom timing pointer. This is one of the pictures in the later portion of the fabrication:

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Nearly ready to go in the car:

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Engine ready for the installation. (Notice the coolant hose.) My 1/2 car garage only allowed enough room for the engine stand and the nose of the car. It was February and there was snow on the ground outside while I was doing this, so the garage door was closed as much as possible.

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A picture from the earlier assembly stages, where I was looking frazzled from the pace of work. There were several late, late night shifts and a couple all-nighters.

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So, the engine went in the car and it drove. Then it got parked for nearly a year because I was gone, and when I came back it was winter again. Booo.

Now we are up to 2004. Unfortunately, 2004 was one of the worst years ever for car project completion. I did stay busy with other unrelated tasks and even purchased a small milling machine to add to the mc²racing fabrication capabilities. Literally the only car project (partially) completed in 2004 was the installation of the aluminum switch panel and gauges in the carbon fiber panel. Gee, wow, ooo, ahh. Good looking work, just not very productive for a 12 month period.

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I wish I had the carbon fiber sheet to make a second panel for the switches out of. Looks kinda odd with the mixed materials.

That's it for tonight...

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Post by anglin » Wed May 10, 2006 8:14 am

I shall continue. You may get the impression from the writing that 2004 was a general waste as far as project completion was concerned. In reality, I added a lot to my parts stash. It's just that the parts weren't getting added to the car. It is a lot easier to research and buy than it is to actually put the stuff on the car. Generally speaking, all of the "bolt-on" tasks were completed and all the projects I was ready to do required fabrication or extensive research and custom work. In usual Anglin-fashion, I was even taking bolt-on projects and doing custom work and fabrication to them in order to bring the parts closer to my level of perfection.

As an example, here's the Debaker Shock Tower Brace (aka, the Debaker Debar) installation work I did. I couldn't just bolt it onto the car, I had to create some spacers to be sure there wasn't going to be rubbing between the bar and the shock tower.

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Thank goodness for having aluminum spacers around. I just don't know what I would have done if I had to use that stack of washers in there instead of something lighter! :ninja:

So, I guess I put the Debaker Debar in the car in 2004, too. Like I said earlier, 2004 was more about preparing to do other mods and increasing my ability to make modifications than it was about actual doing them.

Here's one of the parts purchases (judging by the look on my face the part must be from Godfrey):

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That part is actually one of Godfrey's compression strut brackets. See what I mean by buying parts that require fabrication and custom work to use? That's not something you buy and then go slap on the car real quick. So much is needed to make that one little part work. (I'm trying to justify my lack of productivity.)

It wasn't all about parts, though. It was about the ability to make parts myself. Here are some of the pictures of the mill that represented most of my spending money for 2004. (Watch out, it's a MONSTER! I barely had room in my garage for it. :roll: )

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Precision is a very good thing. Nothing like wanting a slot that is 3/8ths of an inch wide and getting exactly what you want!

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The above picture is the results of a test, since I am not a machinist, just some guy with a mill. I spent a lot of time running the mill making absolutely nothing but aluminum scrap simply so I could figure out how it worked. There's a lot going on in making an accurate part with a good finish. I had to figure it all out on my own.

The mill wasn't just about making aluminum shavings, though. I actually did stuff that was benefical to my racer. In fact, I took the Debaker Debar and modified it. The raw bar weighed 3.06 lbs and I figured all that weight was unnecessary. With the mill and some measurements and math I figured that I could remove 1 lb from the bar and not do any harm to its stiffness. Of course, I didn't accurately calculate how long it would take me to reduce the weight by 1 lb.
Last edited by anglin on Wed May 10, 2006 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by anglin » Wed May 10, 2006 8:17 am

So, the Debaker Debar mods.

Each slot in the faces of the Debar were 33 inches long, the x-axis on the mill travels 0.050" per revolution. That's 3960 turns of the handwheel to move one direction (you have to slave the wheel back the other direction to restart the next cut, so more like 8000 revolutions...)

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The end result:

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That work represents 6 hours of my life. It must have been worth it because the bar was 1.04 lbs lighter when I was done, not 1 lb, like I estimated. Image

However, the mill proved to be capable of other useful tasks. I generated the prototype of the mc²racing solid differential mount in the mill. Of course, like any good machining task, the mill is not only used to do the work, the mill is also used to make the tools and fixtures required to do the work.

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Here's Grayson test fitting the solid diff mount to one of his shells.

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I think that wraps up 2004. I'll leave some room in this post for additional pictures in case I remember something.

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Post by anglin » Wed May 10, 2006 8:18 am

I guess this means it is time to discuss 2005. The parts collecting that I had done in 2004 was about to have some impact on the car in 2005. I wish I could say I had done more in 2005, but I'm okay with the work accomplished considering the level of complexity of some of the mods.

One of the simplier things I did was an aluminum throttle cable bracket. The crappy stamped steel unit was looking aged, so I decided it would be a good idea to make my own on the mill. The one-off prototype work is very slow but very satisfying, generally.

Here's two pictures of the bracket in progress being fitted to my mockup engine.

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I was very satisfied with the results. It still has to be anodized, but the part is on the car, looking good. The bracket is one of those details that may be easily overlooked, but really adds a sense of quality to the engine.

In 2005 I also committed to one of the biggest, most in-depth projects I've ever done. As a part of the weight reduction plan ( Image ) I installed an Odyssey lightweight battery into the car. Of course I couldn't just slap it into the stock position, I had to relocate it. And I couldn't just wire it up like it was stock either. The project was impressively involved, including tearing into the EEC harness and changing grounds and so forth. Here's a quick rundown of the projects involved with Anglin's version of putting a lighter battery in the car:

install light battery
- fabricate mounting bracket

modify electrical system with a kill switch and EEC standalone power circuit
- fabricate kill switch bracket
- reroute the Keep Alive Power (KAPWR) to the EEC so the cutoff switch allows the EEC to retain its adaptive memory
- install switch for KAPWR so the battery can be completely isolated

modify EEC grounds
- the EEC is grounded right to the negative post on the battery, which won't be there anymore

install lightweight starter
- reroute starter solenoid trigger wire

fabricate bracket for battery jumper port
- facilites jump starting of remote battery
- system not yet installed

There's a TON of sub projects for each one of those project above. Truth be told, the installation STILL isn't done. I have to button up some wire routing still and utilize a second starter solenoid so I don't have a hot battery cable passing through the floor pan. This will reduce the chances for short circuits and fires.

The lightweight Odyssey battery:

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Battery location, early mockup:

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Fabricated mounting bracket nearly complete (the top part is an off the shelf bit from Summit Racing, the rest is custom fabricated):

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Wiring almost complete on the battery:

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EEC harness pulled out, awaiting modification:

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Mock up of the cut off switch location:

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Early work on the cut off switch bracket:

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Completed cutoff switch bracket:

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Last edited by anglin on Wed May 10, 2006 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by anglin » Wed May 10, 2006 8:18 am

More battery installation/modification pictures...

Dash reinstalled with cut off switch:

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Battery jumper port mounting bracket and plug:

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Jumper port setup assembled:

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I still have to incorporate the battery jumper system into the car, so I don't have any completed pictures of these components. Sorry.

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Post by anglin » Wed May 10, 2006 8:19 am

I was a lot busier in 2005 than the pictures show. I picked up a parts car in September that was the ass-kickin'-est parts car ever. Folks who have heard about it before are probably getting sick of hearing about it. The car had enough of the right parts on it that it was capable of high 12s in the quarter mile. Fortunately, the car wasn't just built to live its life a quarter mile at a time. It had plenty-o-suspension goodies on it too. I sold quite a bit of the items I didn't need to folks around here; Konis, Powerflex bushings, the SDS engine management system, the Cosworth front bar (I wanted the rear), etc. However, everything that has not been sold is going to be incorporated into my racer; the RS500 IC, the C&R radiator, genuine RS front bumper and a few other items.

Additionally, there are a ton of other parts that I have to put on the car still. The list of stuff to do is pretty long, and none of them are easy. If they look like they are easy or they are fairly straight forward, rest assured I have some other subprojects associated with the jobs that are going to increase the difficult AND the quality of the finished product.

Walbro 255 lph fuel pump
Steeda Triax shifter
oil cooler
remote oil filter
Cosworth RS rear spoiler (OEM)
28.5 mm front sway bar
16 mm rear sway bar
mc²racing parts:
- nylon STA bushings
- aluminum steering rack bushings
- front Koni coilovers
- rear Koni shocks
- 500/850 front and rear springs
- solid differential mount
- solid beam mount bushings

So, that's really where I stand right now. I have some carbon fiber hood installation pictures, since i'm smackdab in the middle of that task. The hood is on the car right now. I just need to finish the hood pins. Of course, off the shelf hood pins aren't even close to what I want. I have a modular design that is designed to bolt to the car with no holes to drill and so forth. Of course it will be all aluminum. Here's a sneak peak at the early prototype work:

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There's plenty more work to do to the pins before they are ready to go. I need to buy some material for the production pieces and so forth. There will be welding involved (the prototype is interference fit) and a few other production steps, but this is the basic idea.

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Post by anglin » Wed May 10, 2006 8:21 am

The pictures I've posted certainly aren't completely representative of every mod performed on the car. I picked some high points and went with that. I certainly shouldn't be posting all 2500 pictures of the car up here. :-) I definitely appreciate all of your comments on what's been posted so far.

If my modular hood pin design interferes with the glass/Euro headlamps then that's okay. If it does become an mc²racing product, then it's just a restriction against their possible applications. The plan is to have a 100% bolt on hood pin design. Glass headlamps may prevent that entirely. The final design will probably be more low profile than the prototype.

Anyway, back on the subject... The carbon hood got bolted up to the car recently. Yeah, you know the one. You all have probably seen this picture:

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Well, that hood is finally going onto the car. I had to build a set of carbon hinge brackets that are epoxied to the hood first. Okay, so I bought the raw carbon angle and then modified it to fit my application. After all, there was no WAY I was going to put a metal hinge bracket on my 6.5 lb carbon hood. I'm trying to save the full 30 lbs off the stock 36 lb hood. Image

Here's the hood hinge bracket with fasteners installed:

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Those bolts are steel and WAY too long, so I'm on the hunt for some shorter aluminum M6 bolts. Image

Here's the hinge brackets after the epoxy has set. The amount of research in picking the right epoxy and prepping for bonding is gross.

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The hood installed. I still have to make a carbon hood prop rod support (and a carbon prop rod while I'm at it Image ) and epoxy that on.

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Mmmm.

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Double mmmm.

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The hood isn't a Marcus Biney hood, but it's darn light (lighter than a Biney hood by about 2 lbs, from how I understand it). That's important, in my book.
Last edited by anglin on Wed May 10, 2006 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by anglin » Wed May 10, 2006 8:22 am

Found a few pictures of a semi-interesting project I did a few years ago. I replaced the rusted and damaged mounting plates that connect the front (and rear) bumpers to the tabs hanging off the front fenders. They used to be zinc plated, but the grime and filth from the road tends to leave them in terrible shape after 20 years. It's not unusal to snap off all four studs when removing the nuts from the plates trying to get the bumper off the car.

I decided the best work-around would be an aluminum stud plate. It's not a perfect solution, but it's a lot better than what we are left with at this point. Here are the pictures "As Seen on MerkurTech.com:"

Cutting out the blank:
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Blank and the original (after the studs had been pressed out):
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Completed assembly:
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Backside of completed assembly:
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Detail of threaded holes and rivet holes:
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Two plates with their mounting rivets:
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Two plates with their mounting rivets:
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Installed in the bumper:
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If this is the first time you've seen these pictures, then you really should head over to the MerkurTech.com Picture Page and start spending some time there.

www.merkurtech.com

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Post by Ray » Wed May 10, 2006 9:08 am

I was wondering how long it would take for you to post these over here as well.
-Ray
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Post by anglin » Wed May 10, 2006 9:18 am

demonfire wrote:I was wondering...
It was definitely a matter of motivation; not the funnest thing to burn my time again (though a lot less since the ground work was already done). Of course, through the joy of having multiple forums, I get to maintain this thread in two places, since not everybody who is here is over there and vice versa. Oh well, I guess it's just how it has to get done.

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Post by Colin » Thu May 11, 2006 12:06 am

anglin wrote:I get to maintain this thread in two places, since not everybody who is here is over there and vice versa.
Ahh yes... welcome to my hell.
Colin Doyle
'89 Scorpio | Volvo B234F head | Holset HX35 | Megasquirt | T5 | 8.8 IRS | mc²racing suspension
File to fit, paint to match.

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Post by DPDISXR4Ti » Thu May 11, 2006 2:03 pm

Colin wrote:
anglin wrote:I get to maintain this thread in two places, since not everybody who is here is over there and vice versa.
Ahh yes... welcome to my hell.
If you even try to use that as an excuse for not finishing in time, me and a dozen other guys will try to beat you up at Carlisle. :twisted:

Chris, is the Odyssey battery a sealed gel type? Everyone always thinks that's what the Optima is, but it's not. Both do have the advantage of being able to be mounted in any position and no vent is required, both features which are important for this type of application. I'm thinking about mounting one behind the rear seat beam on the passenger side, with access through a "4x4" panel salvaged from the Brat.
Brad

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Post by Tygeri » Thu May 11, 2006 3:36 pm

only thing i can and will be saying that engine looks fantastic just hoping mine will be liek that some day
at least gonna rebuil;t the engine hopefully this year think there is the problem with the oilpump not sure
adn who is graynova@something.com cause he sold me the merkur cdrom that has bin a great help till now
Live life to the Max get extreme!!!
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