2006 DSM Shootout Coverage and a New Hood

The Talon in my garage.

The Talon, in it’s new garage.

Wow! It’s been more than a month since an update. And I haven’t even commented on the shootout or anything! So, it’s time for one :-)

Shootout News: The DSM shootout this year was the most exciting shootout I remember since.. ’98 or ’99. It was just plain nuts this year. Brent Rau brought out his 2G to lay down some exhibition passes, and ran a 7.00 at 199mph. It was crazy to see that car lay down passes. I love how the wheels come back up when he shifts into second gear ;-) It’s also really interesting to see the subtle little things that most people don’t notice about race cars. I could talk about that all day with the pro guy’s cars, no doubt.

Speaking of Pro guys, Mark and I wandered over to John Shepherd’s trailer and checked out his car. I am amazed every year (over and over) with how clean his car is. I mean, here’s a guy who races all the races, and you could literally eat off any part of his engine bay. John’s car is beautifully put together. I have some pictures somewhere around here – I think they’re in the DSM shootout 2006 pictures directory on my site. On top of that, I got to meet Shep for the first time (and I’ve been into the dsm “scene” since 1998) and we got to shoot the shit with Shep for about an hour and a half. I also bought a fiberglass hood for the Talon from him. The hood has the headlight covers integrated into it, so it’ll simplify the front end, and save me from having to add supports and/or weld the headlight covers to the body. It’ll look good when it’s all done. It was also loads of fun to see Shep lay down 7 second passes. That man is crazy :-) Kudos to him though – all his hard work is paying off.

On top of all that stuff, Rick helped me put the hood on the car, and Mark and I have spent some more time working on the Transmission tunnel. Hopefully we’ll be able to spend some time on the car soon, but with a marriage coming up at the end of October (mine!), it’s going to be hard to squeeze things in. Oh yeah, I also bought a set of 1600cc injectors for the Talon, and I also bought a Mark Williams yoke for the driveshaft. I had to buy a new yoke, because the Dedenbear tailshaft requires a smaller diameter yoke (The spec is like .020″ smaller than the standard yoke dimension) in order for the driveshaft to fit into the tailshaft. So, $200 and a week later, I now have the right yoke :-) Now, I just need to put it on the driveshaft.

Out of The Shop and Into The Home

The Talon, at home.

The Talon, at home.

Just turned the keys in for the shop. Over the last few weekdays and weekends, Mark, Christyn and I have completely moved the entire shop. Thankfully, the move was completed early this weekend. I spent a good portion of the rest of the weekend organizing my new spaces in my new house. The garage is ample, and should allow me to continue working on the Talon almost as if nothing had happened. The workspace is a few hundred square feet smaller, but at the end of the day, it’s only ~15% smaller, so I should be able to manage with more organization (and everyone knows I need more organization – at times the shop looked like a war zone.) *sigh* In any case, at lunchtime today I went to david (the owner) and turned in my keys. So long shop, you will be missed.

Moving Out

I just got to the shop. Over the past few weeks, so much has been going on in my life that I have just been going through day-to-day things without putting my entire focus on them. When I mailed off my check to pay shop rent, I also mailed a 60 day notice. Pulling in today, there was a “for lease” sign in the front of the building. That makes me sad. I’ll miss this place.

I’m moving into a new home, one which will house me, my toys, and the Talon. Consolidating last year was a good thing at the time. This year, it’s a very good thing, but I’m going to miss this place. As far as shops go, it’s a really nice, open area for Mark and I to get work done. It will be sadly missed when we move out on July 31st :-(

This has hit me harder than I thought it would. I was on my way here thinking about the tranny tunnel, the throttle, and the wastegate dump. Now, I can’t get over the fact that we won’t be *here* in two months. We’ll be in a new shop (which is a little bit smaller) with other challenges that go along with it. Plus, moving all this stuff is going to be a pain in the ass. I like it here. If anyone has a way for me to trip over an extra stack of cash every month, let me know about it ;-)

More Aluminum for Tin Work – Chute Mount Done – New Oil Pan

another long time between updates. Lots of stuff going on in my life right now. Mark and I have done a little work on the car, but not a whole lot. We’ve both been doing things with family. While I am exceptionally anxious to get the car running, other things are more important than this.

There have been a lot of small updates on the car though:

I finally have more aluminum. I’ve been putting off more tin work on the car, but ordered some more 3003 from Factory Steel out here in Detroit. Through my lack of planning, there was some confusion about when I would be able to come pick it up, so it took about 6 weeks to get. I took two days off work specifically to pick it up, and drove halfway across the state not once, nor twice, but [b]three[/b] times in order to spend $190 on some aluminum sheet. Okay, it wasn’t completely my fault. The first time, they were closed (the close at 3pm on Friday’s, for anyone who might need to pick something up on a Friday at Factory Steel) – the second trip out there was the Wednesday after Easter, which happens to be the last day of Passover. I didn’t realize this until I was parked next to their building, wondering why they’d be closed. The last time though, they were open. I called first ;-p Yeah, so that was frustrating, but my own fault at the end of the day.

The parachute mount is done, and the anchor mount for the parachute is done, too. I don’t have any pictures, but they look decent :-) I also have the chute cable routed, and mostly installed. I just need to add some rivets here and there, and weld something onto the cage.

Oh yeah, the oilpan was decided, cut, welded, and it almost completed. I just need to weld a couple bungs to it. I like this one much better than the old one :-)

In addition to that, the Downpipe was modified to accept the dump from the 44mm wastegate, but I need to call up Woolf and have them send me just a small piece of 1-7/8″ SS tubing for a slip joint that we’re putting in there (mostly for my sake – I feel more comfortable with it there)

Wow, so yeah, other things have happened, too. We’re also working on the transmission tunnel. Mark cut more floorpan out of the car, so the floor will soon be sealed, with any luck ;-p I’m also working on other tin work on the car. It’s been hectic.

Never try to do too much. That’s my advice for the day :-) Eh, I’ve never been one to heed my own advice, and that’s gotten me into trouble in the past.

Finishing up the Intercooler and Starting the Chute Mount

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to add any substantial news, so here it goes:

– I made a huge Summit order, which included things like: fire suppression, parachute, parachute mounting, bump stops for the front shocks, some -12AN fittings (the hot IC pipe location required some slight remounting of the water pump, so we’re going to have to remake a few lines – not a big deal, but still work nonetheless) and a bunch of lug nuts. For anyone who doesn’t know, Weld Racing’s lugnuts just straight up suck. I have about 50 lug nuts laying around I’ll never be able to use because they’re either the wrong size, or they won’t fit how they’re supposed to. Aside from those lug nuts, I also have nuts from Weld that are off center, or somehow cocked up in some way shape or form. So, I dug around a but, and found almost identical nuts from Centerline, and they seem to be better quality. The complete set that I ordered was about the same price, and they come in pack of 5 instead of 4. So, Weld, I like the look of your wheels, but your lug nuts [b]suck[/b].

Oh, yeah, I also made an order from McMaster-Carr to get some stainless plate for some mounting brackets and the like. I also ordered one of every bolt in the catalog, I think./ Okay, I’m exaggerating, but I still made a few hundred dollar order for [b]bolts[/b] which sounds pretty ridiculous, but I think that’s just what you do when you’re building a car. Oh well.

Other than that, I welded up the IC top tank. I’ve had a few questions about how that thing was going to work, and I think now that it’s assembled, it’s easier for people to see how it’ll work. I had one guy who thought I was going to punch a hole in the hood, and that it was going to be an air:air Intercooler. That’s not the case – The top tank is essentially a huge icebox for about fifteen pounds of ice per pass. Fun stuff :-)

I’m also working on the parachute mount. Last night I mounted it partially to the body. With any luck, tonight I should be able to finish up the rest of the mount, and get it up on the car. Here’s to hoping :-)

Current News – and a Small Gripe

Okay, so I’ve got a lot of stuff on my mind lately about what needs to happen to the Talon in the coming months. I have a ton of stuff going on around me (in my life) but I’m trying to stay focused on the car right now. The big pieces are getting knocked out, and it’s only a matter of time before Mark and I start working on smaller and smaller things. Hopefully we’ll be able to get to a point where we’re like “okay, what’s next?” and the answer is “take it to the track” :-)

So, what are the bigest pieces left to do on the car? Well, the oil pan, wastegate mounting, transmission tunnel, mounting the front bumper, wiring and installing gauges. There are some small things left including: a couple cage bars here and there to finish that up, some tin work, many many small brackets, and small things like inside door handles. Between using the bathroom, and refilling the three gallon fuel cell, I will eventually have to get out of the Talon, even if I don’t want to :-p

And this is the part of the post where I digress heavily: I am so happy with this project, but if I had to do it all over again, it would be different. The car doesn’t really fit into any classes, and it’s being designed as an 8.50 car, really. It’s not 25.5 SFI spec, and it was never intended to be. The crappy part about that is that I’d get my ass handed to me in most of the pro classes, and all the rules of “mortal” classes really suck, requiring full interior, or not allowing RWD conversions, because “normal” people just don’t do that to imports (yet :-)) So, at the end of the day, this car that’s supposed to “only” run 8.50’s really doesn’t fit into any class. I know, we’ve got a long way to go before we lay down some 8.50’s, but I still don’t want to go further than that in this chassis. Hrmph. I’m sure I’ll ramble more about it later.

In any case, the Exhaust was finish welded last night, and now it’s time to weld up the Intercooler.

Four Inch Downpipe / Exhaust

A shot of the engine bay

A shot of the engine bay

The lower half of the exhaust, exiting under the car

The lower half of the exhaust, exiting under the car

Now THAT is an exhaust

Now THAT is an exhaust

Downpipe time! Over the weekend, we had a few visitors to the shop. More than any other weekend, anyway. Jim Craig and Kevin Kwiatkowski came out on Saturday to hang out, shoot the shit, return borrowed parts, and hang out for a bit. It was fun, but not the most productive weekend. Good times though :-)

Anyway, Mark and I got working on the complete 4″ exhaust system for the car. “complete” is kind of a relative term, because the entire exhaust system is roughly 48″ long. We purchased three 90 degree 1D stainless bends, 4 inch diameter and four feet of straight 4″ tubing to fabricate up the exhaust system. We got to work mocking up the downpipe, and then added two more bends to the system to get the exhaust to come out the side of the car. the result?

Now that is an exhaust :-)

My GT42 Exhaust Manifold

Well, again, it’s been a while since this page has been updated. But here it is again, and I have a big surprise for you:

Building a 304L stainless steel header

There you go – Mark and I have been spending just a TON of time on the header, and I’ve also been doing a ton of work to get the new project gallery up and running. So, there’s a guide with pictures of the 304L stainless steel header that we made for the Talon. Let me know what you think about the project gallery – if I like it, I’ll probably make more :-)

Exhaust Manifold Flanges and Stainless Tubing

It’s been a while, huh? Well, we’ve been working on acquiring parts for the car. I had some stainless exhaust manifold flanges, but I just didn’t like them, so I called up Ty at RRE and had him ship me out a new flange that would work for me. The other flange had enormous holes in it at the head, and had we been using some 2″ tubing for the header, would be about perfect. But, we’re not using 2″ tubing for the header. I also got a great deal from Ty on a new Tial 44mm wastegate and 2 bar worth of spring to keep the GT42 happy :-) Oh, yeah, and Ty was a pimp, and also sent me a 3″ cast aluminum elbow, too. Thanks Ty!

Oh, not to be a whore or anything, but did I mention that Woad Wace Engineering is a great place to get stuff?

So yeah, we got that stuff, and then I ordered $350 worth of 1-3/4″ stainless steel tubing for the header. We settled on Hessler V4.0, Mark’s fourth header design that he came up with. We’re currently working on carefully cutting and slicing the tubing together for some hot header action. Then, we’ll weld it up, and take pictures. The header is turning out to be a large project, but it will be so cool when it’s done.

More updates later…

Fuel Lines

We’ve been working a lot on the car, so we haven’t had much time to update the site. The fuel lines are mostly done, I just have to add the fuel pressure regulator, and the line from the rail to the regulator, and then from the regulator to the return line. It should be cake, I just need to order up some parts. The brake system is also “done” – Mark and I tested it last week, and bled it. Feels goo to have brakes on the car :-) I’ll show you guys some more pictures soon.