2007 DSM Shootout Recap

After a very brief night of sleep, I awoke at 6:45am the next morning. Actually, I had set my alarm on my cell phone, but I had forgotten to enable it. Even still, my body naturally awoke. I think I was excited about it.

There’s always something about the shootout that makes you a little bit apprehensive. Sure, you may have a nice DSM, but there’s still someone else who has dropped money more than you have; or they have a nicer car than you do. There always will be – it happens in anything. Anyway, There’s excitement, suspense, and a thrill that you get when presenting something to your peers. And, that’s what I Was doing.

Three years ago, I brought the Talon down to the shootout. It was nowhere near as done as it is today – and it was missing… everything. We had the backhalf done, and the engine and transmission in the car. Other than that, it was bare. No manifolds, no tin work, no bumpers, and not very much else. Sure, Saturday wasn’t *the shootout*, per se, but this year it ended up being the only shootout that was had. And this year? It was as crazy as ever. Dave posted in this thread that there were over 300 cars present, with over 1000 people attending the car show / dyno portion of the shootout. Needless to say, it was a little nuts at times during the day.

So, we got there in the morning, said hello to Dave, and then after getting some crap from him about *still* not having a running vehicle, we rolled the Talon off the trailer. Then, we pushed it around until we got it into a parking spot. We ended up in the grass right across Dave’s driveway from the Dyno. So, if you got the chance to see a dyno pull, chances are good that you also got a chance to see the car.

As I was pushing the car into place, it occurred to me that I knew there was something up with the car that we should have been able to fix easily. The night before, we had flooded the engine trying to get the car to move under it’s own power. It didn’t really move up onto the trailer, but we were simply out of time, so we pushed it instead of driving it. Anyway, now it was the next morning, and there was no reason the car shouldn’t be running under it’s own power. So, we tried to start the car. It ran like crap, and then stalled. Hrm… I pulled the plugs out of the car, and sure enough 2,3 and 4 were drenched with gas. So, Mark went and got a new set of plugs for the car, while I checked out some other things, and got the laptop to adjust some settings on the the Haltech. Mark came back with the new plugs, I pulled fuel out of the coolant temp maps of the Haltech (it was still quite cold outside) and we started the car up. It started right up, but was very lean. And it ran like crap. It totally wasn’t running on all 4 cylinders. Thankfully, it was still early in the morning, and there weren’t too many people there standing around while we were trying to get it running, so it wasn’t too embarrassing ;-)

So, we started troubleshooting. First, we thought that it may be spark, so I borrowed a power transistor from Daniel Buschur to see if I had inadvertently fried the one on the car. This turned out NOT to be the issue. Okay, what next? We pulled the plugs again. 2,3 and 4 all had carbon on them – they were firing. Number 1? It was completely white – you could still see the porcelain. Crap. Okay, well, it should have been getting spark, but may not have been getting fuel. I poked around a little bit, and found the problem. My #1 injector plug had come un-crimped. Yeah, how does that happen? So, I sent Mark on another wild goose chase to look for an injector pigtail. While he ran across the street to the local Wakeman auto parts store, I went into Dave’s shop to return the power transistor to Daniel, and also managed to pull the sloppy pin out of the injector pigtail from the Talon. I also managed to borrow a crimp tool from Daniel, which was cool, but I also got crap from him about not knowing how to crimp connectors ;-) It was okay, I deserved it. So, I crimped the #1 injector properly, and put the harness back together.

Finally! All four cylinders were firing. It was great to finally have the car running properly :-)