10 Februarty, 2020
Trevor and I drove the yellow Baja Bug yesterday - the first test drive after installing the re-geared transaxle. We're happy to report that the gear ratios are perfect now! We had also addressed a couple of minor oil leaks while the engine was out of the car; everything looks tight now. It was a real pleasure to drive the Baja again - it's been a long time! Now that everything seems to be working the way we want, Trevor will be wanting to get the car in the desert so we can tune the suspension a bit. It's amazing how much it drives like our 5-1600 car now; the "fast steering" that comes with the rack and pinion setup isn't ideal for street driving but it'll be great off-road. Tuning the suspension should get us close to "race car" handling in the rough also but now that Trevor is a father, it may be a while before he finds an opportunity to get it in the dirt.......
02 February, 2020
We welcomed a new member of the GONZO Racing team this afternoon; Henry W. Anderson was born to Kristen and Trevor this afternoon at 3:59 pm after a nearly 32 hour labor!
25 January, 2020
Trevor and I finished putting the yellow Baja Bug back together today. We installed the engine then did it's first "post re-build" oil change and valve adjustment in addition to addressing a minor oil leak. We were pleased to note that the drained oil looked clean with no evidence of metal present. After reinstalling the bumper, we ran the engine for a few minutes to verify that there were no leaks then finished up with the install of the "deck scoop" and engine skid plates. By that time, Trevor needed to get home so we haven't had a chance to test drive it yet. We're expecting the transaxle gear ratios to be more appropriate now - hopefully we'll have a chance to drive it soon.
23 January, 2020
I took my torque wrench ratchet apart and found the problem last night (nothing that affected the calibration) - it's all sorted out now so I went back over the CV bolts to be sure they were all torqued correctly. In doing so, I discovered two of the boots had small cuts that we had not previously noted..... We were re-using old 5/1600 car boot flanges that had sharp edges and had cut into the boots - it was a mistake to try to save a few $ by re-using them. I went to ORW and got new flanges and boots to replace the problem parts. That replacement required that I once again remove the axle/CV assemblies from the car. After the parts swap, I bolted everything back in place, torqued the bolts and checked for free rotation - no binding at the extreme suspension travel points. Ready for the engine install.
21 January, 2020
I finished prepping the CV's and reinstalled the CV/axle assemblies on the yellow Baja Bug today; everything runs smoothly with no binding at the limits of suspension travel. My torque wrench ratchet started giving me problems midway through the install so I need to go back and check everything once I get the torque wrench sorted.... Also remaining is the replacement of one CV's boot retaining wire; I need to retrieve my safety wire pliers from the hangar to do that, hopefully in the next day or so. Once those open issues are closed out, Trevor and I will install the engine then do an oil change and valve adjustment. There are also a couple of areas where we have small oil leaks that we want to fix at that time. Hopefully, we'll be driving again next weekend!
18 January, 2020
I picked up Trevor's Baja Bug transaxle from PowerBox yesterday so Trevor and I put it back in the car today. We had the 4th gear ratio changed to something a little "taller"; hopefully that'll keep the engine RPM's in a reasonable range on the freeway but still give us good up-hill performance. We only installed the transaxle today; the axles and CV's will come another day - we want to spend a little time doing a more detailed "race-prep" to be sure we don't have any problems given our increased suspension travel.
02 January, 2020
Happy New Year!
Trevor and I spent a couple of hours working on the Lothringer Pre-Runner yesterday; we mocked up the tie rods I had roughed out last week to check for correct length before welding the threaded ends in place. We then began removing all the body panels so that we have unobstructed access to the frame for us to clean and corrosion protect it. Once that's done, we'll final install the front control arms and rear trailing arms then install the front and rear hub/brake assemblies and tires/wheels so we can roll it around while we work on it.
Our initial plan is to coat the tube frame so that it doesn't rust while we build the car over the next several years, then start the build with the steering system followed by the other driver controls - brake, clutch and accelerator pedals. Once the controls are installed, we can begin fabricating and installing the brake and clutch lines. We should have a functional brake system fairly quickly but the clutch system will have to wait for the transmission purchase.... We have plenty of work to do before we start needing to have the "big ticket" items on hand.