Monthly Archives: April 2007

So You Want To Build a Racecar?

So sometimes you just get down about a project. Saturday I worked on the Talon for a little bit, but as usual; other things were pulling at my time. My brother needed me; my wife is painting. If this keeps up, I won’t ever get this car done. I did, however, get to catch up on a little reading of my chassis book. Dave Morgan wrote a book on chassis’s back in the late 80’s, but it’s still a great book in my opinion. The book is called Door Slammers: The Chassis Book, and it’s a great great resource for me. It’s a short read, but has technically complicated descriptions of how things work in a door slammer. And that’s perfect for me. Anyway, if you’re trying to figure out how to setup a four link or ladder bar, and need some insight or assistance, then you should check this book out. I’ve read it cover to cover, and am now going to go through the numerous setup sidebars that Dave provides. And, if you want to buy it through that Amazon link, that helps me out a little bit :-)

Back on the topic of the car: I worked on a bunch of random things on Saturday. I replaced a few sensors that I didn’t care for; installed some more plumbing, and started mingling in getting the gauges setup – although I called that off for the day because I didn’t have the required hole saws. Anyway, after that I worked on the wiring harness. I feel good working on the car, in general.

I told my friend Kevin that planning a life and a racecar at the same time is generally a bad idea. Since he’s building himself a car, too, he totally agreed with me. I will hold this belief for the rest of my life. I will also have the experience of actually doing this and understanding what it really takes to do this. Most people will never experience it. I even thought I’d have an idea when I started this project – I was mistaken. Sure, time, money, time and time are easy things to consider, but that’s only the tip of it. There are things that have drained me so much more than just time and money. It would be so much more simple if my priorities were the car, but they’re not. I have responsibility to other people – my family; my friends. I also have things like bills, and a normal 9-5 job. Even without the car, I have little spare time. Things come up, people want things, or I inevitably have something to do. On top of all that stuff, I’ve dreamt of just getting the car done for the past three years. that’ll affect you without having these other factors.

And sure, I’ve taken my time with things. I want to build this right. I don’t want to have a great car with a rat’s nest for a wiring harness. I don’t want a four link to run 12’s. I don’t want to compromise on many parts of the car because of the integrity of the whole thing. because of that, I’ve spent much more time on this car than most people do on their doorslammers. And the flip side of that is, of course, that other people do a much nicer job on their cars than I have on mine. and I can’t even imagine what they go through. I know one guy who’s six figures into a new car, and it’s not ready to run yet. That takes balls. And cash :-o


I’ve been doing an extremely unrealistic amount of work with other things lately, so work on the Talon hasn’t happened. It’s a shame, but looking outside and seeing snow and high 20 degree weather doesn’t exactly kick me in the ass and make me want to get it running, either. The truth is, however, that I would love to. But, for the past three or four weekends (I can’t remember anymore,) there’ve been way too many things going on. Weddings, family coming into town, helping other people with things, stuff at work coming up. And now, this weekend, it’s Easter and we’re going down to Tennessee to visit family. Okay, so next weekend we’ll work on the car.