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Technomancy => Automotive Tech => Topic started by: MiniVanMan on April 11, 2013, 09:22:20 PM

Title: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on April 11, 2013, 09:22:20 PM
Even if we don't officially support blogs here on A-R, I think I'll still do one about Trailer Racing.

Title is a work in progress.  :-\ Any helpful input on format or whatever is appreciated!

===========================================

Introduction:

It's sort of hard to deny that a major appeal of automotive racing is the ever present potential for spectacular wrecks. Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt, but skidding tires and crunching sheet metal is a recipe for an instant adrenaline rush - even for the spectators.

Crashing isn't a guaranteed thing in most forms of auto racing, so for those of us who get their kicks watching cars spin and slam into each other, littering the track with debris, entire racing genres have been created for the sole purpose of ensuring that crashes WILL happen.

Most obviously are Demolition Derbies.

Demolition Derbies are straight and to the point. If crashing is what you want to see, well, that's the entire goal in a Demolition Derby - to crash into the other participants, and be the last person left with a running, driving vehicle. Unfortunately, Demolition Derby attendance seems to be in a steady decline over the past few years. No one is really sure why.

One theory is that drivers are putting too much money into their cars and making them too strong. The spectators want to see cars crunched up and torn apart, so when you have a Heat full of over-built derby cars, what you see is akin to slamming a bunch of red bricks together, if those bricks had flimsy axles that would end up being the only part of the vehicle to show any noticeable damage.

Another theory is that because of the over-built cars, new-comers tend to have little to no chance of competing in any worthwhile way. Spending a few thousand dollars only to be knocked out of the event within the first thirty seconds is not very enticing, when the entire point of this type of "racing" is that it's cheap and accessible for those of us who don't have a disposable income.

Thankfully, redneck creativity seems to know no bounds, and we have plenty of other events to choose from.

From School Bus Figure 8 races where a fleet of 60-foot long vehicles must time their pass through an intersection as to not hit - or BE hit by another bus, to Skid Plate racing where front wheel drive cars have steel plates in place of the rear tires and must complete 10 laps around the oval truck in a constant state of over-steer, to Trailer Figure 8 Racing, where vehicles of all types must complete a number of laps on a Figure 8 track while pulling a trailer.

The last person left with a trailer, or the first person to cross the checkered flag is the winner. Tow-vehicle hits are not allowed, but incidental contact is a given. It's all about trying to destroy everyone else's trailer while keeping yours intact - and it's a ridiculous amount of fun.

Trailer Racing guarantees carnage. People tow anything from old campers (with the interior mostly removed, of course) to old boats, jet skis, or other, more creative cargo.

Of course, it's really difficult to explain the appeal of an event such as this. Sometimes it's better to just see it for yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9t5EVgFAzo

Trailer Racing is great because it embodies the "cheap" aspect that traditional Demolition Derbies originally touted. Any cheap, running non-4x4/convertible car and single axle trailer will do. The more interesting and creative your car/trailer combination, the more the fans will like you - and the more likely you are to be a primary target for everyone else on the field. That's OK, though, because the real reason people spend their money to participate in an event like this is to put on a show. It's not uncommon to see drivers intentionally destroy their vehicle and/or trailer in the name of causing some form of hilarious and awesome wreck. The spectators always appreciate it, and to many, the cheers from a satisfied audience are worth more than the prize money.

Trailer Racing is a true form of racing, to be sure. It may not involve highly engineered vehicles with trick suspensions and hot motors, but it most certainly involves an element of driver skill and a lot of strategic driving. It may not be as prestigious as the more straight forward forms of racing (for good reason) but I assure you, if you fail to be entertained by a Trailer Race, you are dead inside.
Title: One mans trash...
Post by: MiniVanMan on April 11, 2013, 10:23:52 PM
One of the benefits of working at a car dealership is that you get first crack at trade ins, and if you know anything about car dealerships, they have to make almost insulting offers on them to ensure that there is room to actually make money on resale.

Of course, sometimes a rock-bottom offer on a trade in also happens to be precisely what the vehicle is worth, and resale just isn't a probability.

That's great news for people like myself. Some say they could hear the gears turning in my head the day this arrived on the lot:

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/262942_10151091122329775_966041258_n.jpg)

I've tried numerous times in the past to obtain a vehicle to use in the trailer racing but always came up short, for one reason or another.

This time, I put together a plan.

The managers meet every Wednesday, and I figured if I could plant the seed in each of their heads ahead of time as to exactly WHAT Trailer Racing is and WHY it would be worth donating the truck for it, it would be discussed in their meeting with everyone being fully aware of what was being discussed, so the only question at that point would be "Should we, or shouldn't we?".

To help ensure there were no questions about it, I printed off the list of rules for the race, building regulations, and typed up a full description of exactly what takes place during a trailer race. I even sketched a rough idea for what the truck would look like with the lettering and stuff done to it.

Apparently, that tactic worked. Immediately after their meeting, the general manager approached me and gave me the good news. I started tearing the truck apart on my lunch hour that same day.

End of Day 1:
-Removed center caps, painted wheels.
-Removed carpet, door panels, radio, glove box, vacuumed thoroughly.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/313010_10151028415329775_918648487_n.jpg)

By the end of the week I had removed the side and rear glass, grill, head lights, tail lights, bed liner, welded the tail gate shut and cut the exhaust off right at the down pipes. Also, I installed a set of used Hoosiers donated by a co-worker.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/430365_10151060478309775_779267759_n.jpg)

Of course, you can't run in a trailer race without a trailer. This was a difficult task, finding a cheap free trailer, since I really didn't have any spare cash to throw into the project and asking the dealership to front another $200-$300 just seemed greedy.

I perused Craigslist for several weeks and called the local wrecking yards to no avail.

Finally, I made a trip to a salvage yard a bit farther away than my previous searches. After a short ride on a front-end loader with the chain smoker owner of the yard, I spotted this trailer perched atop a large pile of scrap waiting in line for the shredder.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/549728_10151062576189775_1806715310_n.jpg)

It's a truck bed from a Datsun 620 that someone re-purposed into a trailer. The only thing missing were the wheels, but apparently GM's six-lug bolt pattern is identical, so I found a pair of old, rusty 6-lug rims that were used as spares (mounted to the under side of the truck, so... very rusty.) and slapped on a used set of 16" car tires.

The width of the rim and tire combo meant that they wouldn't fit the right way, the leaf springs were in the way. I had two choices - look for another matching set of skinny rims and tires, or rip off the brake hardware and flip these rims around. I chose the latter.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/s720x720/297859_10151091122719775_34106231_n.jpg)

Unfortunately, this exposed the tire and rim quite severely, leaving them extremely vulnerable to collision. No worries though, because 6 lug! I figured that 6 lug nuts would be enough to hold things together regardless of how far the tires stuck out from the wheel wells. I only had 6 total lug nuts, however, and had to scavenge for 6 more that would fit. Unfortunately I didn't find a perfect match, so I forced on the ones I could find - 3 on each side, so each side had 3 correct lug nuts as well, spaced out in a triangle pattern. I also ran a bead of weld around the inside of the lug nut to attach them to the studs and welded the rim to the center hub as extra insurance.

Part of the dealership sponsoring me and donating the truck meant that I had to have the dealership's name plastered all over the truck. For this, i turned to the Body Shop manager, who was surprisingly excited about the whole thing and was more than happy to have his guys not only paint it, but do it during business hours, on the clock.

It was sort of hard for me to take the truck down there and just leave it. I have been waiting since I was a little kid to race... something. Anything. The paranoid part of me was afraid that something would happen to the truck since I wasn't there to watch over it like a hawk... but after stopping by after a couple of days to see their progress, I was pretty impressed with what I saw.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/383197_10151091122909775_2108309596_n.jpg)

They were excited to be a part of it, and were putting just as much effort into the paint job as I was into building the truck. They weren't half-assing it, they were enjoying being able to help. That made me feel much better.

The shark fin on the roof was a complete surprise, and happens to be my favorite part of the truck. It makes it distinguishable.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, they brought the truck back down to me and I added the finishing touches - the yellow stripes on the door beam and the black paint on the front bumper.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/422839_10151091123359775_1613264902_n.jpg)

I took the left over paint and lettered up the trailer.
(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/19-1_zps50539d94.jpg)

After that, it was a week of waiting in agony for the Friday, September 7th race.
Title: Rain on my Trailer Race
Post by: MiniVanMan on April 11, 2013, 10:52:30 PM
I'd been watching the weather forecast very carefully all week long. It was a roller coaster of emotions. Sometimes, the forecast would call for a beautiful Friday afternoon, and others it predicted doom and gloom from Thursday to Sunday.

Friday came and I was like a kid on Christmas morning. I had the truck and trailer connected and set aside all morning long, waiting for 3:00, when the flat bed would be coming to gather the rig and ship it to the track for me.

The weather forecast roller coaster had gotten much more extreme. Michigan has a very temper-mental climate. It's not uncommon for it to literally be pouring rain one minute, then clear blue skies the next, then snow moments later. Temperatures can range from 30 degrees in the morning hours to 90 degrees by late afternoon during certain times of the year. It's absolutely ridiculous, and Friday, September 7th was no different.

One moment the forecast radar would show a cluster of storm clouds heading from the east and the chance of rain would be 100%, then half an hour later, that storm would be gone and we were to expect sunshine for the rest of the day.

By the time we pulled out of the dealership lot around 3PM, it was calling for an ever increasing chance of rain - the highest percentage being specifically at the exact time the trailer race was scheduled to begin. You've GOT to be kidding me.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/314113_10151084519404775_1060206633_n.jpg)

But, given the fact that the forecast had been so indecisive prior to race time, we were still set to continue as scheduled.

Once I was at the track with the truck unloaded, my anxiety shot through the roof. I was nervously checking the weather almost every 5 minutes for updates. I was one of the first people to arrive, but once a few others showed up I began introducing myself and making friends by helping unload their trailers and such. I met a man called Steve Utley who, despite being the thorn in the side of the race director for undisclosed reasons, was clearly a veteran at these types of events, as evidenced by his Nissan minivan decked out with a steel-tube reinforced front end and Shopping Cart roof ornament.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/644099_10151091123549775_1710494543_n.jpg)

Sure enough, despite the wavering forecast, the storm clouds rolled in as predicted. The Trailer Race was the final event of the night, and it was agonizing to sit through the other events of the night, watching the clouds draw near.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhF0kwzpdok

The rain came during the School Bus Figure 8, but it was a soft drizzle, so they staged the trailer race vehicles anyway.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/523482_10151091123584775_1015970646_n.jpg)

Because of the rain, there was a lot of confusion as to starting position (which was determined by drawing numbers out of a hat), but the general consensus seemed to be of the "fuck it" variety, so I wasn't too worried about it.

The rain seemed to let up a bit as we pulled out onto the track. I figured, no big deal, a wet track could actually make it more interesting. I had previously removed the wiper blades, but reinstalled the driver's side one "just in case". That turned out to be a good idea.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/304647_10151091123634775_845019408_n.jpg)

After several "parade laps", the green flag was waved and we were off. Immediately in turn one, I nudge the Jet-Ski trailer to my right, and it flipped over with ease. I had eliminated another racer mere seconds into my very first racing. Fucking SWEET!

In turn 2, however, karma bit me in the ass, and some dude in a Pontiac 6000 ripped my trailer off, which was then hit by several more vehicles and caused one car to drive onto another car's trailer, producing a blanket of thick tire smoke that trailed across the intersection and acted as a smoke screen. Chaos ensued as a result, and the rain began to pour, combined with strong winds, which lead the to race director throwing the black flag and canceling the race.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAOUYpIR-zU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5clCuRh9ZGY

As a consolation, I decided to "nudge" the speed boat that was laying on it's side in the middle of the track, and earned my truck it's first official battle scar.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/404046_10151091123674775_624597969_n.jpg)

The announcer told us to keep our wrist bands and that we could leave our vehicles at the track, for next Friday would be the make-up race.

I was drenched head to toe, and even though I hadn't even completed an entire lap, I was on high as a kite on adrenaline.

One more week before the REAL fun began, though.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Kalgorn on April 11, 2013, 10:54:56 PM
I'm enjoying this so far. Even though I would never participate in something like this, it's fun to read about what you experienced.
Title: Flag Pole Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on April 11, 2013, 11:30:43 PM
After yet another agonizingly long week, finally race day came, and this time the Forecast was very confident that rain was the least of which would occur that day. With that worry out of the way, I was able to focus on correcting a few flaws in the set up. First, however, I had to find and recover my trailer, which was whisked away by the track staff after the race.

I left the truck in the same spot I originally parked, but this time I brought the Jeep inside the pits with me so I had some tools of my own to use. The damage I caused to the truck was quite a bit worse than I originally thought... turns out, ramming a capsized speed boat on a race track isn't really a good idea.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/419215_10151097361894775_998775877_n.jpg)

No matter, it was structurally intact and that's what was important. Off I went to find my lost trailer. I didn't have a chance to look it over after the 9/7 race so I had no idea if I'd even be able to use it again. From the video shot by my friend, it was hit by at least 2, if not 3 other cars AFTER it detached from my truck, so there was no certainty that it would even ROLL let alone reattach.

Turns out, some kind soul had left my trailer upright in an easy to get to spot. It was beat up, to be sure, but none of the damage hindered its ability to be pulled around by a clapped out pick up truck in any way. The lug nuts were loose, so I had to re-weld them and hope for the best.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/228959_10151097361824775_1095428930_n.jpg)

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/229914_10151097361869775_1591273319_n.jpg)

I bent it all back into shape. Well, relative shape, at least. Even managed to get the tail gate closed! Sort of.

(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/100_5590_zps7bbbb33b.jpg)

(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/100_5591_zpsb18154ff.jpg)

Most ball-style trailer hitches operate via a lever-locking mechanism that includes a spring and a latch. These aren't very solid, but are more than enough for normal usage of a trailer. Of course, racing around a figure 8 track and smashing into other vehicles PROBABLY doesn't qualify as normal usage, so I replaced the latch mechanism with a bolt.

(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/IMG_0620_zps7ec07378.jpg)

It didn't work very well. We determined that the problem wasn't the idea of using a bolt, but rather that I didn't tighten it enough. I left just a bit of play in it so it wouldn't bind up when turning, and that seems to have been the Achilles heel of the whole thing, so we replaced the bolt and cranked the sucker down as tight as we could.

The track pays $50 for entering a race. Not completing a race, but entering one. If you pass the start/finish line, you get $50. Since I was feeling a bit confident in my driving ability, I decided to risk it all and enter the Flag Pole Race, and chance wrecking the truck beyond repair and not being able to compete in the Trailer Race. I guess I figured I could back out if things got too hairy, but I had a LOT of people from work in the stands to cheer me on, so I wanted to make sure they got a show.

A flag pole race is different depending on who you ask. For us, it meant that there were three tractor tires laid out on the track. We'd start out in a stopped position and gun it when the green flag was waved. When you came up to a tire, you had to circle around it completely. If you skip a tire, your lap doesn't count. That doesn't sound like too big of a deal, but consider the fact that there were about 15 vehicles ranging from small sedans to Firebirds to pick up trucks to Suburbans, all trying to do this "round-a-bout" at the same time. Carnage is guaranteed.

The flag pole race was fucking awesome.

(Turn speakers down, loud at start)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXTwfi-OaKc

I had seen flag pole races before and had already cooked up a strategy - instead of hugging the tire and hoping to squeeze through, I'd overshoot the tire, then make a sharp turn coming back around so that I could SEE what I was driving into rather than just blindly forging through it. It paid off more than once, and at least twice I managed to leave an entire fleet of cars behind while I precisely whipped around the tire while they all banged sheet metal fighting each other to get by.

The red flag was thrown for some reason (I never learned why), and I didn't see it until I made a final loop around Tire #3. The yellow truck in the video that scrapes across my front end as I'm coming to a stop... remember him. He's the guy whose jet ski I knocked off in turn 1 at the 9/7 race.

The flag man came to yell at me for not stopping (not on the video), so I politely explained to him that I stopped as soon as I noticed the flag being waved, but that the other guys were ramming me and pushing past as well. I actually lost several positions during this red flag, but gained them back as soon as the green flag was thrown, because who knew, a Vortec 4.3 V6 actually has some balls. At least compared to about half of the other vehicles on the track.

Not long after the restart, that yellow bastard #75 decided to exact some revenge for embarrassing him on 9/7. He rammed me once, then rammed me twice, both times on the driver's side, once in the door (should have been black flagged for that), then once right on the tire, bursting it. Had it not been for that, I might have been competitive in this race, but with a blown drive tire, I was as good as done.

Still I kept on, pushing it as hard as I could but also having the presence of mind to preserve the truck for the Trailer Race. It was starting to get hot, I could smell it.

A couple laps later, I got my revenge. I came around Tire #1 and saw the broad side of yellow #75, so I squared up on his drive tire and nailed him. Hard. Got his tire, too, but pushed the core support on my truck back about a foot. The upper radiator hose was now touching the mechanical fan, a fact I was not aware of until the following Monday.

(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/IMG_0622_zps3ca4fce9.jpg)

I'm not sure was position I finished in, but it was definitely a blast.


Title: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Main Event
Post by: MiniVanMan on April 12, 2013, 12:04:24 AM
There was one event between the Flag Pole Race and Trailer Race. It's called the Skid Plate Race, where front wheel drive cars compete with their back tires replace with steel plates, so they're constantly oversteering. It's a lot of fun to watch, but unfortunately myself and my pit crew were busy changing a tire and bashing sheet metal back into shape.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBTS0QCnru4

The truck cranked about 10 more times than normal, and I instantly became nervous. I'm not entirely sure, but I remember from my old Cutlass that sometimes the residual heat in the engine bay would literally boil the fuel in the bowls to vapor, making it hard to restart after a long ride on the highway. Even though the truck has a TBI system, I imagine it was probably a similar problem.

Finally, we pull out onto the track. The spectators were cheering very loudly. One guy shouted to me "Nice shark fin!" as we stopped at the start/finish line.

After some parade laps, we were off.

Remember that yellow #75, and how I ruined him in turn 1 of the 9/7 race? Well, he attempted revenge in the very same manner. Fortunately for me, my trailer stayed attached and I merely spun around. I had to wait for the race field to pass by before I could turn around. I was tempted to hit the last vehicle's trailer as it passed, but a head-on collision with a trailer probably would have done more damage than it was worth. My little V6 was fast enough to catch back up... I hoped.

On my second approach to the intersection I was faced with a decision. Risk getting t-boned by a mid-80's full sized Silverado, or jam on my brakes and let him pass? Well, I stopped. And it was the last time I did such a thing, because yellow #75 just happened to be coming through at that very moment (driving through the infield, as he liked to do for some reason) and rammed into my trailer hard enough to lift it off the ground. Thanks to the fact that we cranked that bolt down so tight, though, it stayed attached, and I gunned it.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/59070_10151196562614775_195792818_n.jpg)

For the rest of the race I stayed on the throttle everywhere but the turns.

The trailer was so heavy that whenever it started to slide out, like when I took a turn too fast, it would pull the back of the truck out with it. I had to coast through the turns and use the straight as my chance to gain speed.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/481548_10151196562399775_463761613_n.jpg)

In turn 3, a veteran race car driver (the one who won the flag pole race) in a Hyundai Elantra was on the inside of the track and decided to come into my passenger side. Since Chevies are like a rock, he broke a ball joint and dug into the grass. He was done.

After a few VERY close calls, one in which I was mere inches away from hitting a trailer, and mere inches away from BEING hit (you can hear the crowd react to those moments in the video), a red flag was thrown due to a fire on the track.

(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/DSCN6832_zpseafe4e52.jpg)

Apparently someone was leaking fuel, and another vehicle had lost two tires - the sparks from his rims set the gas on fire.

They took this time to adjust a dislodged speed boat trailer. The trailer tongue was effectively a javelin for anyone stupid enough to crash into it, so they turned it around and pointed the sharp end away from oncoming traffic.

This time was ALSO used for the dude who set the fire to head in and change his tires. I have my opinions about that, but since he didn't win the race anyway, I'll leave it alone.

I think it ended up being almost 10 minutes before the race resumed. I was next to the Pontiac 6000 that took out my trailer in the 9/7 race. We chatted for a bit, then randomly he decided to start pumping up the crowd by waving his hands and revving his engine. I followed suit and revved the piss out of mine. That little 4.3 doesn't sound too bad when you abuse it.

(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/DSCN6845_zps866a7a9b.jpg)

At some point, one of my trailer wheels came off. i guess not finding the correct lug nuts really ended up costing me, because I was doing quite well until then. I was in 5th place, but to be fair, there were only 5 vehicles left. Given the nature of the race, however, i considered making it to the top 5 to be quite an achievement for a first timer.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/556917_10151196562474775_13277328_n.jpg)

Despite the rules insisting that losing a tire meant instant disqualification, the flag man waved me on. I guess the sparks were entertaining enough to deem it worth the damage to the track.

The trailer was making it very hard to drive at this point. It slid around a lot and jerked the back end of the truck out from behind me more than once. One time it actually put me in the grass and cost me a position.

Then, the second wheel came off.
(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/255192_10151196562559775_469005804_n.jpg)

I finished the lap, but was black flagged. I pulled off into the pits and jumped out of the truck, absolutely pumped with adrenaline.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr-2nMe0u3o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeMA7Vz7OR8

Without a doubt, the most fun I've ever had in my entire life.

(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/DSCN6855_zps60112baa.jpg)

The trailer was a bit worse for wear, but honestly I could have replaced the wheel studs and reused it. I had no way to take it back to the dealership though, so I let the track scrap it.

(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/IMG_0625_zps67e1947b.jpg)

One of the wheels actually pulled THROUGH three of the lug nuts.
(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/IMG_0627_zps1537a624.jpg)

As for the guy whose gas tank ruptured, here's why:
(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/IMG_0626_zps13351aa9.jpg)

(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/IMG_0628_zps10c37ccc.jpg)

He got ass-packed in turn one and his trailer tongue broke open his fuel tank.

The next race is on July 5th, 2013. Winter is over and I'm already starting work on a new paint job, and getting the new trailer ready.
Title: And still...
Post by: MiniVanMan on April 12, 2013, 12:46:26 AM
All things considered, the truck held up remarkably well.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/398975_10151097362874775_1847704644_n.jpg)

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/419571_10151097363019775_1801196984_n.jpg)

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/419424_10151097363184775_1225634302_n.jpg)

I ended up pulling the core support back out a bit and cutting the front tip off of the hood because the latch mechanism was jammed and i couldn't open it.

Even though I loved the previous paint job, it was suggested to me that my number, 00, be painted larger on the side of the truck, so i zeroed everything out with some black motor paint. I also threw on a used set of BFG A/T's. They have a 3-ply sidewall so I'm hoping they'll stand up to abuse a bit better than the Hoosiers. The only downside being the lack of stickiness... although I'm not really dealing with a whole lot of power here, so it'll probably be just fine.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/536427_10151176892634775_2119624624_n.jpg)

Rough layout for the new paint job. The Body Shop will be doing it again, I just wanted to lay things out where I wanted them.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/532345_10151179181689775_737296170_n.jpg)

This time around i managed to score a trailer way ahead of time. A co-worker got a free Jet Ski with a seized motor. I traded my old BFG's off of my Jeep for it, straight up.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/63115_10151143536074775_1947509975_n.jpg)

It came time to take the truck back to the body shop, and it decided it didn't want to start without starting fluid. I narrowed it down to the fuel pump, but screw all that tank-dropping nonsense.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/20200_10151184424434775_535940890_n.jpg)

Yes, i know how close I came to cutting the hose, but I was being very careful.

And so it sat for a very long, cold winter, in the corner of the Body Shop parking lot, by the big dumpster.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/554275_10151274366864775_171612146_n.jpg)

Over the winter i got bored, but never stopped thinking about the race. It's been on my mind constantly. I'm so eager to race again I just can't stand it.

Then the nerd in me came out, and I made this:
(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/73950_10151119090294775_1671678102_n.jpg)

Just today, a random idea popped into my head when looking at the 4 empty soap barrels stashed outside by the dumpster... so I sketched it out.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/544190_10151438609389775_219181136_n.jpg)

Then I made it a reality.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/58516_10151438797909775_1042878288_n.jpg)

I just need two more barrels and some yellow paint to make it look right. Yes, I know I got the radiation symbol upside down in the drawing. I'm also going to get some glow-in-the-dark green paint to drizzle along the top of the barrels so it oozes down the sides. That'll be funny.

Everyone uses a boat or a jet ski, I didn't want to be like everyone else. This will be funny when a bunch of hazardous material barrels go scattering across the track.

Also yes, I work at the dealership again, but that's another story for another thread.

The next race is July 5th. I have to replace the upper radiator hose, replace the rear shocks to cure the bouncing, and finish the paint job... and we're good to race. Can't wait.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Meatywand on April 12, 2013, 10:02:25 AM
Expanding foam and green paint makes neat toxic waste, you should do that on the barrels, its what we did in the Haunt for toxic sludge.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on April 12, 2013, 11:37:22 AM
Good idea. I was just going to use glow in the dark green but the foam will give it a cool texture.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Meatywand on April 12, 2013, 11:41:11 AM
Yeah it makes it look like some kind of horrible slime is bubbling out of the barrels.
Title: Mini Blog Update
Post by: MiniVanMan on May 06, 2013, 09:03:57 PM
Made more progress on the trailer. Bought a far too expensive gallon of Safety Yellow (didn't have any smaller sizes) and began rolling it on. Honestly, I'm surprised how well it stuck to the plastic barrels given that I did exactly fuck-all to clean them prior to painting.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/943693_10151466251079775_1552801174_n.jpg)


(http://i.imgur.com/uoXxe7G.jpg?1)
I just need one more barrel to complete the package, then I have to figure out a way to make really good radiation symbols. You know the one...

(http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/radioactive.jpg)

I'll probably just make some sort of stencil out of card board and see if i can just shoot some black through it. It only has to look good at a distance.

I'm also working on some front clip bracing for the truck. I found a tube bumper at the junk yard that was way too banged up to use for my Jeep (I don't rock crawl anyway), so I'm in the process of adapting it to the truck.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/947159_10151477971609775_2027906671_n.jpg)

Right now I just have it secured. I'm going to adjust the angle and add some tubes to it to tie the entire front clip together so it's nice and sturdy.

I also zip-tied the electric cooling fan in. It's not permanently mounted yet nor is it wired.

I still have to replace the rear shocks (you can bounce the ass of the truck off the ground with one hand), replace the upper radiator hose (the mechanical fan almost chewed through it when the core support got bent back), and give it a good tune up. Then, it's racing time!
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: jeepidude on May 07, 2013, 09:55:51 AM
That wave runner's color scheme is so tacky it's scary  :lol:

Looks like you're having a lot of fun  :)
Title: Shocking
Post by: MiniVanMan on May 08, 2013, 07:26:18 PM
That wave runner's color scheme is so tacky it's scary  :lol:

Looks like you're having a lot of fun  :)

I'm not exaggerating when I say it's the most fun I've ever had. It definitely is. Waiting all winter to start getting ready for the next race was agony. It's all I want to do now.


----------------------------

One of the biggest problems I had during last year's race was that the rear end of the truck liked to hop quite badly (you can see it in the Flag Pole Race video), making it hard to regain traction after a big bump. The rear shocks were completely blown out and leaking fluid, so today I replaced them.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/922919_10151481894414775_974256196_n.jpg)

The fresh blue paint on the shocks looks very odd in contrast with the rest of the truck :lol:

I also got around to wiring up the electric fan, which came from a Cobalt. Apparently the Cobalt went into a ditch and the housing for the fan was broken, so they had it replaced. Perfectly working fan, just with a broken housing. That's the least of its concern now that it's on my truck.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/936116_10151481894684775_2131352687_n.jpg)

I used one of the cigarette lighters for the power and ground. Nice and easy short cut.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/270877_10151481894609775_768275666_n.jpg)

Now onto the reason I'm using an electric fan... The big crunch the front end took during the Flag Pole Race meant that the upper radiator hose was now in contact with the mechanical cooling fan, which was chewing its way through the hose slowly but surely. Obviously that's not good... so, new rad hose it is.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/931220_10151481894474775_1582463488_n.jpg)

I also decided to remove the tail gate to make it easier to see the trailer. Last year I had no idea if my trailer was still attached until I felt it tug on the rear end around turns. This will also give the GoPro a better view of the action.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/936654_10151481894524775_539185674_n.jpg)

I also rigged up a super redneck GoPro mounting - a 21" long piece of broom handle bolted to the cab via the roof and the part just behind the driver's seat, spanning where the rear glass should be. The GoPros will be mounted with the Handle Bar mounting kit. Here's the view from both cameras:

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/247170_10151481895854775_495664533_n.jpg)

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/397806_10151481895844775_1366315084_n.jpg)

Aside from my own GoPro, I'm borrowing two others. I'm thinking the third one will be mounted to my helmet, but I'm not entirely sure about that yet. I'll also have my dash cam (the one I used to film the Flag Pole Race) set up in another vehicle to possibly catch some of my action from outside the truck. That should be cool.
Title: The Redneck MacGuyver
Post by: MiniVanMan on May 16, 2013, 10:15:08 PM
Part of the fun of doing this type of event is that as long as the vehicle meets safety standards, there are no rules as far as equipment and operation.

Case in point: My shifter cable gave out, and I didn't want to spend $60 on a new one.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/486729_10151495862019775_368060582_n.jpg)

The plastic sheath that the cable resides within had worn out over the years (as they're known to do, apparently). The plastic sheath must remain rigid so that the cable can slide back and forth inside it, otherwise the cable just binds up and doesn't have the rigidity to move the gear selector on the transmission.

So, I did the best I could with what was available, and well...

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/969286_10151495861979775_707190049_n.jpg)

It's not pretty, but it works damned good. Those are a bunch of little wire/brake line retainers that just happened to be the perfect size. I added a bunch with the rubber grommet to keep the cable from sliding on the floor, then a bunch of the bare metal ones to keep the cable from binding up. Then I soaked the whole thing in WD40. Now the gear selector works like new! Nice and crisp, no more guessing if it's really in the gear I've selected or not (I wasn't ever sure if it was in Drive or 3rd gear because it was so sloppy before).

I also set up the GoPro mount on my helmet. I'll have 3 GoPros running in total - one on my helmet, one solid mounted facing forward and another facing reward (see previous post for images).
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/971802_10151495861974775_927801069_n.jpg)

This should be a lively view! (I'm using the GoPro app on my phone to adjust the settings and trigger the shutter).
(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/970992_10151495861774775_1924649712_n.jpg)

So I was trying to come up with an easy way to do the Radioactive symbol on the barrels. They had to look good, I need people to recognize what they're supposed to be as soon as they see them.

I had considered just paying a sign company to cut some vinyl for me, but then decided I could redneck my way out of this one, too.

So, I printed off the symbol on an 8.5"x11" piece of paper. I used a ruler to extend the lines from the little wedge shaped things on the logo onto a piece of cardboard, and figured that the center of a roll of electrical tape was exactly the same size as the dot and traced it all onto the cardboard. Then, i took a fence tie (an L shaped piece of metal) and poked it in the center of the small circle and used it to make the radius for the whole thing.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/68634_10151495861734775_1014881053_n.jpg)

Using a box cutter to cut out the shapes wasn't easy, but it worked. I applied some take to smooth over the edges for cleaner lines.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/264447_10151495861709775_1057296005_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/966190_10151495861754775_117821800_o.jpg)

Turned out quite good, I think! I need to fix the center dot a bit, needs a bigger gap between it and the "wedges"... but other than that, I'm happy with the outcome.

I really liked the yellow caution stripes I put on the crash bar on the driver's door, and since I'm going to be hauling around "toxic waste", I figured it would make sense to use that as the theme for the entire truck.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/960198_10151495862004775_809317449_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/954880_10151495861679775_678750927_n.jpg)

Now I just need to finish the lettering and make it look all nice and clean.

The only thing left to do after that is to reinforce the brush guard on the front, and the truck will be completely ready for the race.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Meatywand on May 17, 2013, 02:09:47 PM
Nice job on the Radiation symbols...I was gonna suggest going to a local construction supply place (not Lowes or Home Depot, an actual Commercial Construction store) and getting a sign there for your stencil but you did a great job!
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on May 17, 2013, 02:16:43 PM
Thanks!
Title: Very Minor Update
Post by: MiniVanMan on June 07, 2013, 10:57:17 PM
Not much to report, but it's been a while, so I figured I should write something.

Had a close call with the truck. I flip the air cleaner lid upside-down so it'll suck in as much air as it possibly can... and well, I forgot to flip it back to normal before I left for Georgia, and it rained. A lot. And the first time I tried to crank the motor when I got back, it sucked that water into the cylinders and hydro-locked it.

No worries, been there, done that. I hydro-locked my 96 Cutlass once, too, and it survived.

So I drained the oil and pulled the plugs then cranked the engine over a bit to spit the water out. Put it all back together and ran it some, then changed the oil again (still a lot of residual water in it) and left it running for about an hour to heat up and evaporate whatever was left. It was also a good time to test the electronic cooling fan. Once it reached operating temp, i switched the fan on and a few minutes later when I came back to it, it had reduced the engine temp by a significant amount. So, success!

In other news, I'm almost done with the paint job. Hand-lettering using foam brushes is a pain in the ass, but it's turning out alright, I supposed. I honestly don't know why, but that cross pattern I painted on the back wheel... I just think it looks cool. I'll be doing that to the rest of the wheels too. Not sure why I like it so much.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/969308_10151530895069775_2128504513_n.jpg)

Just a bit more touch up to do, then some welding for the front end guard, and it's ready to go.
Title: Trailers for Sale or Rent
Post by: MiniVanMan on June 10, 2013, 06:17:44 PM
I finally got around to replacing the latch mechanism on the trailer. I used a Grade 8 bolt this time, so I don't have a repeat of last year.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/999272_10151535677889775_1534467788_n.jpg)

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/1005873_10151535677869775_1735739324_n.jpg)

Just crank it down tight and that trailer will NOT detach from the truck.

Last year:
(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg196/MichiganMuscle77/IMG_0620_zps7ec07378.jpg)


I also finally got a 6th barrel to complete the trailer set up.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/998253_10151535677894775_1243662127_n.jpg)

All that's left is to finish the lettering on the driver's side of the truck and do more welding/securing of the brush guard, and she's all set.
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/980967_10151535678024775_1223156806_o.jpg)
Title: And now we wait.
Post by: MiniVanMan on June 26, 2013, 09:42:55 PM
I finally finished the radiator guard. It doesn't look very sturdy, but I used a combination of weld and 1/2" threaded rod to tie it all together, it's quite strong. Should be more than enough to save me from a few direct hits on other people's trailers, which is all it needs to do. I won't be battling anyone during the Flag Pole Race... that one will just be for fun.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/1053409_10151568851959775_726250600_o.jpg)

Paint job is finished as well. The wheels didn't turn out as good as they could have, but seriously, it's kind of a bitch to make it perfect. It'll look good from the spectator stands.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1052456_10151568851954775_744632514_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1008925_10151568852179775_859292919_o.jpg)

So now it sits, waiting for Friday, July 5th.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/1039665_10151568852229775_1165537150_o.jpg)

I start it up and let it run for at least 5 minutes every day just to ensure that things aren't locking up. I've had some issues with the throttle body but it seems to all be sorted out now. I think this will be the last hurrah for this truck, or the engine at the very least.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: GTR on July 04, 2013, 06:53:17 PM
Just read through it all, so bad ass, I approve. and also good luck on your race tomorrow cant wait to see the outcome
Title: Videos are up! +Full race report
Post by: MiniVanMan on July 06, 2013, 03:32:15 PM
Got to the track around 3 which was way early. It was hot and muggy outside and there wasn't much shade... but the consolation is that they let us run a few hot laps.

Trucks aren't meant for race tracks.

Turn-in is horrible and the suspension never seems to take a set. Thankfully, none of this would matter in the events I was running. Still, it was kinda fun to wing a 300,000 mile farm truck around a real race track. Very surreal feeling.

The first event, just like last time, was the Flag Pole Race. And it was pure insanity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1jMSG9NnWo

The very first turn was a cluster fuck of epic proportions. I'm not sure what exactly happened, but someone went into the wall and caused a major pile-up.

This video is from my dash cam that I used last year in my own truck. I set it up in a friend's car for the race to get another vantage point of the action. A good idea, until...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHcqgrOW1dA

It was totally fine until someone rammed him in the back, then the camera flung off the mount and landed on his floor.

That someone was me.

I really had no choice in the matter, I did my best to stop.

Then, behind me came the Blazer with a sharp piece of angle-iron in place of his bumper. I told him before the race to stay away from my tires (in a friendly way) but I guess it was just fate that he would happen to crash next to me and blow my tire. I used BFG All-Terrains specifically because they had thick sidewalls and would stand up to most normal collisions/rubbing... but they were no match for a piece of angle iron with a jagged edge.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/q75/s720x720/530_10151587476664775_580746414_n.jpg)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aovF6IFsj_o

Near the end of the race the flat tire was starting to come apart, and smoke was coming out from under the hood, so I pulled into the infield and shut it down to prevent any more damage. Turns out, it was completely fine, except that the cap on the master cylinder decided to no longer seal tightly and brake fluid was spraying onto the motor. A few zip ties and it was good as new.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/q74/s720x720/999337_10151587479314775_1370566787_n.jpg)

Next up was the School Bus Figure 8 race. This event is purely spectacle; the drivers are instructed to avoid wrecking the buses as they are very expensive to run and repair. Still, they're allowed to bump and rub. That may be disappointing to those who want to see wrecks, but considering just how dangerous is really can be to broadside a 60ft bus with another 60ft bus traveling upward of 30mph, it's more than acceptable.

I was able to film a short bit of it from the track side while we were lined up for the trailer race.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it_t_5RfgZE

Time for the main event.

I drew starting position #2, which meant I was right up front and on the inside. NOT the place you want to be in a trailer race.

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/996522_10151587478009775_328941223_n.jpg)

To make matters worse, the car behind me was the 66x. It's the car you hear snarling and growling in every video. It's the car that turns into a black blur as it speeds through the straights. It's the 75 Chevelle that was built as a full on demo derby car and has a big block in it. It's this car:

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/1052276_10151587478284775_545608719_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1053430_10151587478214775_604824772_o.jpg)

Thankfully, the driver, Kelly Hollister, is seriously cool and said he wouldn't screw me over right away - only if he had to. So, he didn't.

My barrels didn't stay on for long. They fell off the trailer almost immediately upon the green flag, almost as if I'd planned it that way. I was hoping for them to stay on until someone hit me so they would go flying all over the place, but a few of them managed to get back out onto the track for some hilarious barrel-punting moments that the crowd seemed to enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw3FWK-HLPc

I made an attempt to take out the speed boat in the intersection once. Fiberglass boats are heavy so I just winged it. Didn't hurt the truck much but it also didn't seem to phase the boat.

The Monte Carlo pulling the camper

(this one)
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/218220_10151587478114775_1595333886_o.jpg)

Seemed to get in my face a lot. We rubbed paint numerous times. He was faster, for sure, but that camper slowed him down in the turns. Finally, once I'd had enough of him trying to push me off the track, I followed him into turn 1 with the sole intent of ramming his camper at any cost. Coincidentally, my friend TJ had just gotten his Dodge Ram fired back up and we both nailed the trailer from either side. The Monte spun out and TJ blocked 66x from passing so I was given a long lead... or so I thought. Apparently 66x was already an entire lap ahead.

TJ followed the Monte through the intersection and finished off the camper, sending the shell sliding through the entrance right next to where the Paramedics were stationed (and blocking their access to the track). The trailer frame was still intact, however, so the Monte was still in the race.

Later on TJ and 66x were doing battle as I came up behind them. They got untangled and TJ made a drastic maneuver to wreck 66x's trailer. It didn't work, but it did spin the 66x and I was able to pass. He was still a lap ahead.

At this point I knew I was in second and that my only hope of taking first was to destroy the 66x trailer... but since I had just witnessed it take a brutal beat down from TJ, I knew there wasn't any hope in that, so I simply stayed out of his way and battled for second with the Monte.

On the final lap the Monte came to pass me on the outside of turn 1. We were side by side in the intersection and as soon as we neared the turn I moved over into his side and spun him, quickly dodging around him and hauling ass around the rest of the track to secure my second place position.

As I crossed the finish line I rolled into the grass and punted one of my barrels into the intersection just as TJ was coming through, and he nailed it. Perfect timing.

I did not expect to do so well. My strategy was different, though. Last year I wanted to race and avoid damage. This year it was all about putting on a show. It just goes to show you that the more reckless you are, the better you do.

The most fun I've ever had. Ever.

GoPro front view:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju2Xt3eUZkw

Rear view:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSRGWFY4JFE

Please be sure to "Like" my videos, it will help a lot when I finally start doing some editing and getting my channel rolling. I'd appreciate it!
Title: Aftermath
Post by: MiniVanMan on July 10, 2013, 08:56:20 PM
The truck held up impressively well. Again, this is an old one-owner farm truck with over 285,000 miles on it. The only mechanical repairs I've done were a new fuel pump and rear shocks.

My rock crawling bumper set up worked great to keep things away from the radiator, but as I expected, it shoved the core support back about a foot - roughly the same as last year. I wasn't sure I could run more bracing from the core support to the firewall, but other people did, and I will be doing the same thing before September's race.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/q85/s720x720/578347_10151591762404775_165307417_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/q80/s720x720/1011967_10151591762394775_1648388563_n.jpg)

The driver's side took another beating during the flag pole race. The BFG's held up well despite having at least two direct hits from the 83 Monte Carlo.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/q74/s720x720/988241_10151591762619775_1854273761_n.jpg)

As mentioned in my last post, the only blown tire was due to a sharp piece of angle iron that literally sliced through the tire.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q81/s720x720/993597_10151591763974775_528805934_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/q81/s720x720/995712_10151591763234775_1574397498_n.jpg)

The trailer made it out in relatively decent shape as well, despite it also taking the full force of the 83 Monte in the intersection.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/q87/s720x720/1312_10151591762824775_1490399994_n.jpg)

Thankfully most of the impact seems to have been directly on the wheel which absorbed a lot of it. That, combined with the low weight of the trailer seems to have prevented any major structural damage.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q90/s720x720/994816_10151591763989775_1722252492_n.jpg)

The driver's side spindle is completely wasted and the axle beam is slightly twisted, but that can be fixed with a torch and hammer, and I have already purchased a new spindle to weld in place of the old one.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/q71/s720x720/998704_10151594626179775_778627300_n.jpg)

The tongue was damaged from the trailer literally wrapping around the back of my truck. It's still usable, but I have to lengthen the trailer to meet the required 16ft anyway, so I'll be cutting it out and replacing it with a longer piece.

(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/q91/s720x720/264424_10151591763984775_100254807_n.jpg)

The truck is not running at the moment. Well, it runs... but not well. One of the throttle body injectors is not spraying. I have determined that is must be the injector itself, given that there is definitely fuel going to it, and when I swap the plugs the injector that already works continues to work (so that means there's power going to both of them), but no fuel is coming out of it. I have also ruled out spark, as I can spray starting fluid into that port and the engine will begin to run normally until I stop.

So, injector it is. Unfortunately, a new one is $115, so fuck that. I'm going to search for the upper part of the throttle body (containing both injectors) at the junk yard and just throw the whole thing on.

As for the barrels... I emailed the track director about them and offered to let them hang onto them for any use they could come up with. Apparently the "toxic waste barrels" were a big hit and the source for a lot of laughs that night, especially among the track staff, so they will live out the rest of their days alongside the track as water-filled crash barrels, turned with the radioactive insignia facing out toward the grand stands for all to see.

Awesome.
Title: Photos
Post by: MiniVanMan on July 12, 2013, 08:05:33 PM
Small update.

Got the photos back from the track photographer, just wanted to share. These are scans of printed images so forgive the quality/color balance, etc.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/q71/s720x720/68274_10151598532039775_2130941495_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/q73/s720x720/1013560_10151598532049775_1619824785_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/q80/s720x720/1069897_10151598532059775_29595296_n.jpg)
Title: Scratch
Post by: MiniVanMan on July 29, 2013, 08:18:28 PM
The truck isn't healthy.

I've narrowed its performance problem to an injector issue. The injectors are getting power and fuel, but one of them sometimes refuses to spray. Lightly tapping on the injector housing will cause it to work.

The obvious answer was to pick a throttle body from the junk yard and throw it on, but then there's also the problem that the valves are leaking oil down into the cylinders quite a lot.

In other words, the motor is tired and ready to give up its ghost.

I was planning on running it anyway, but then a better solution presented itself.

A friend of mine has been looking for a newer, more reliable car. He has owned a 1992 Dodge Dakota 3.9 since he got his license, and it was no longer sufficient as a means of daily transportation. He came to the dealership and bought a very nice 99 Grand Prix, and planned to send the Dakota to scrap for $350, until I told him and his dad about my trailer racing gig. They offered to sell me the truck instead as they'd rather see it get used for something than simply crushed.

So I bought it.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1078973_10151627398389775_1991573725_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1073766_10151627398594775_203657567_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/57405_10151627398614775_461423581_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/48188_10151627398749775_1929554577_o.jpg)

In all honesty, I feel kind of bad for what I'm going to do to this truck. It's NOT in terrible condition. It runs perfectly and it's only real problem is a broken brake line. All of the brake lines and fuel lines are rotted badly, so I will be replacing them before the race. There's also some underbody rot, but honestly someone could use this truck for a farm truck with no problems.

Oh well.

As before... first thing's first. Wheels MUST be black.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1072326_10151631465594775_744506317_o.jpg)

Pulled the grill and lights, already had them sold on Craigslist before I even started tearing it apart. Made an easy $50 off the grill, side mirrors and light sockets.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1077530_10151631465574775_1967014452_o.jpg)

The passing of the shark fin...

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1091210_10151631465579775_67238623_o.jpg)

Got the door brace mounted...

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/965742_10151631465709775_1558326997_o.jpg)

Started blacking it out. This is going to take a while.
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/1073350_10151631465929775_1641064800_o.jpg)

I got on a demolition derby web site and read some tips on building Dakotas for derbies. They suggested notching the tail gate and dropping it down between the rear bumper and bed, then welding the whole thing together. Makes the ass end quite sturdy. You don't take a lot of rear end damage in trailer/flag pole racing, but having the added rigidity is never a bad thing.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/1072218_10151631466109775_437935689_o.jpg)

Probably my best weld ever  (welding bumper to tail gate)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1078988_10151631465874775_2069466660_o.jpg)

I got a lot done in just one day, and I have a whole box full of parts to sell and make some of my money back.

As for the original 00...

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/q77/s720x720/1012711_10151630980794775_2006913035_n.jpg)

It looks so naked without the fin and door brace... the brush guard is getting transferred over, too.

The truck isn't dead YET, though! I'm loaning it to a fellow racer who is going to run it in the 30 lap enduro figure 8 coming up on August 11th. I'd run myself, but that event requires a bit more prep work (you have to brace the cab interior a lot) than I have time for.

I WILL be putting my GoPro on it and filming it from the stands, however.
Title: Just over a month left
Post by: MiniVanMan on August 01, 2013, 09:52:41 PM
I've made a lot of progress on the Dakota in one week. All I have left to do is a bit of welding, replace a broken brake line and a rotted fuel line (don't want that busting during the race), take out the glass, seal the doors and wire up the cooling fan.

Today I pulled the fan shroud and mechanical fan to make way for the electrical fan. It wasn't all that hard, but I learned my lesson about not wearing mechanics gloves... my hands are all cut to fuck now.

Pulling the shroud revealed that the radiator is in terrible shape.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1097237_10151637212039775_1227718437_o.jpg)

I'm hoping it holds up through the race. One good shot to the front end and it'll probably puke.

E-fan is mounted in place, though not 100% securely yet.

(https://sphotos-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/q73/s720x720/1097988_10151637212004775_423608689_n.jpg)

I also decided to brace the core support with this truck, since I never did with the Chevy. Now there will be a lot more rigidity so when i hit something, the core support shouldn't fold over onto the engine. Even if it does move back a bit, that's exactly why i switched to the electric fan - to save the radiator from being chewed up.

Just have to weld them in place. I'm also going to beef up where they mount to the fender before welding.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/q71/s720x720/1001072_10151637212174775_1583724238_n.jpg)

I also mounted the brush guard to the bumper. Haven't welded it yet and I need to add connectors to the core support. I'll probably tie those into the angle iron I'm putting in the engine bay, too. The strong the front end, the more hits i can make. This is a smaller truck so I don't expect it to be as tough as the Chevy.

(https://sphotos-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/q83/s720x720/1098022_10151637212289775_1883271451_n.jpg)


The guy I'm loaning the Chevy to picked it up yesterday.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/q71/312314_10151637211059775_1839692688_n.jpg)

i told him to feel free to repaint it, as long as he left my YouTube address on the side. I'll be putting my GoPro in the truck for the Figure 8 Enduro race on the 11th, so look for that video in the following days.

(https://sphotos-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/q71/995431_10151637211134775_1255668717_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/q71/1004915_10151637211139775_483025638_n.jpg)

Kind of a shame, I spent a lot of time on that paint job... that was all hand-lettered and the blue drop shadow was all down with paint pens. Still, the splattered green paint DOES look cool and I'm excited to get video of the enduro race.

Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: angry hampster on August 04, 2013, 05:41:28 PM
I want to see this new 00 dominate!
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on August 06, 2013, 08:40:14 PM
I want to see this new 00 dominate!

You and me both!

Did a few more things today.

First I ran the wires for the e-fan, got that working.

Next was to relocate the computer from the inner fender to the firewall. It's previous location on the fender was a dangerous one. One good hit to that side and it would've been toast.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/q73/s720x720/995486_10151646079694775_1700615542_n.jpg)

The next thing was to get an open air filter set up so it can breathe as much as possible. Every little bit of performance I can eek out of the motor will help. BUT, I didn't want to spend any more money... so I just hacked up the existing air cleaner housing.

Not pretty, but it works.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/q71/s720x720/1148789_10151646079699775_1077655523_n.jpg)

Left to do:
-Finish front end bracing
-Remove glass
-Weld doors
-Finish paint job
-Replace brake lines
-Replace fuel line
-Install/weld hitch
-Repair trailer tongue
Title: "Normal" Figure 8
Post by: MiniVanMan on August 13, 2013, 09:05:26 PM
Figure 8 racing isn't anything new. In fact, when I mention "Figure 8 Trailer Race", most people are caught off guard by the inclusion of the word "trailer".

Last Sunday, Spartan Speedway held a 30 lap Figure 8 race, a "run what ya brung" event. So long as the vehicles met the safety requirements, they were eligible to race. 4 cylinder, 6 cylinder, 8 cylinder, truck, sedan, race car, demolition derby car... if it fit within the regulations, it could race.

I didn't participate as the new 00 isn't ready, and I also suspected that I'm not prepared for such a competitive event given that I've only been on the race track 4 times now. I'm truly glad I went with my gut, because the race was pure insanity.

The old 00 did participate, though. Unfortunately the new owner tried to fix the injector issue by installed 5.7 injectors, which he didn't realize flow a lot more than the 4.3 injectors and was dumping way more fuel than the little engine could handle. Gas was getting into the crank case, that's how bad it was. So, we drained the oil and cleaned the spark plugs and lined him up at the gate, figuring it would run long enough to reach the 5 lap limit to earn his payout ($100 just for completing at least 5 laps).

Here's the video.

From my iPhone in the stands:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1iUZUmMBqs

From my GoPro inside the yellow #75 (the same #75 from my very first race)
Note: The first half of the video are the warm up laps, I haven't had a chance to trim the video down.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2OFYBoACZA

From an iPhone mounted via 2x4 to the dash of the #24 Dodge Ram:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx4KP3o92mw

And finally, from my old dash cam I bought for my first race, mounted inside my old truck, now #13:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHbX_Vus2gI

So yeah... insane.

Before pics:
(https://sphotos-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/q77/s720x720/602021_402177179887876_936686264_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/q77/s720x720/1150949_402177176554543_585488555_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/q72/s720x720/1011580_402177183221209_35309852_n.jpg)

(https://sphotos-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/q74/s720x720/1170866_402177253221202_2049275771_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/q81/s720x720/998235_402177286554532_1974200145_n.jpg)

(https://sphotos-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/q74/s720x720/996578_402177303221197_290456844_n.jpg)

Redneck engine mount repair:
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/q77/s720x720/1003061_402177313221196_1187280492_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/q81/s720x720/998235_402177286554532_1974200145_n.jpg)

(https://sphotos-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/q85/s720x720/1098191_402177356554525_413431398_n.jpg)

A bunch of guys from Auto City Speedway, who do this type of event every other weekend, showed up. Intimidating at first... but our local boys held their own.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/q82/s720x720/1157675_402177449887849_1277668059_n.jpg)

I'm not the only one that did it!:
(https://sphotos-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/q79/s720x720/998928_402177403221187_846255029_n.jpg)

Lined up and ready to go:
(https://sphotos-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/q85/s720x720/1175407_402543086517952_955639585_n.jpg)


And the Aftermath...

#24 blew a tranny line and suffered some heavy body damage, both is otherwise ready to run the Trailer Race in September.
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/q85/s720x720/1148906_402177703221157_416479626_n.jpg)

#68+1 took a big hit from #13 and drove the rest of the race like this. The driver plans on repairing it with a heavy duty trailer axle.
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/q88/s720x720/1150197_402177669887827_309014195_n.jpg)

#75 is officially headed to the scrap yard after 3 years and nearly 11 races. The steering box sheared off the frame and the front frame horn is pinching the driver's side front wheel.
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/q86/s720x720/969418_402177723221155_1223541610_n.jpg)


A small update on my truck...

Got the cooling fan switch wired up, so that's all working now.
(https://sphotos-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/q79/s720x720/1001259_10151659605284775_1366733553_n.jpg)

Made some more progress on the paint job. Still a long way to go.
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/q71/s720x720/1173729_10151659605199775_2124257775_n.jpg)

(https://sphotos-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/q86/s720x720/1175339_10151659605739775_1441941016_n.jpg)

I also reinforced the front end bracing, tying it all to the core support using angle iron. It's quite sturdy.
(https://sphotos-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/q72/s720x720/944799_10151659605834775_322602242_n.jpg)

(https://sphotos-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/q83/s720x720/1186347_10151659605754775_1150828751_n.jpg)
Title: More updates
Post by: MiniVanMan on August 27, 2013, 10:16:54 PM
Less than two weeks to go before the final race of the season. Here's what I've done since my last post:

-Repaired the fuel line
-Repaired the brake line
-Replaced the tires with smaller tires (stiffer sidewall, more foot print, and the smaller size slightly changes the gear ratio)
-Removed the glass
-Removed the carpet
-Cut off the exhaust at the down pipes
-Cut the vents in the hood
-Finished the paint job

Left to do:
-Minor finishing touches here and there
-Finish the trailer (using barrels again, but I only have 3 this time)

Had to cut the hood vents in the same style as the old truck. Trying to keep a similar visual theme going here. Ideally, the shark fin and I-beam on the driver's door will end up on every car i run from here on out, and aside from some minor changes the paint job will be the same, too... so when people see the car, they'll immediately know it's still me and not someone else running the #00. The fans DO get pretty pumped about these races... I actually signed a few autographs last time which I thought was really odd, but they were for young kids so I imagine that they probably don't realize that we're just a bunch of nobodies racing junk cars for fun :lol:

(https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/q72/s720x720/1170656_10151686921224775_1770776523_n.jpg)

(https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/q86/s720x720/1236614_10151686921464775_2014873074_n.jpg)

(https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/q86/s720x720/1209207_10151686921434775_323472080_n.jpg)

Also worth noting is how much a Chrysler 3.9 sounds like a GM 4.3 with the exhaust completely hacked off at the down pipe. Almost identical. I guess i should have figured as much, but I was expecting at least SOME difference in tone.
Title: 9/6/13 Race Report
Post by: MiniVanMan on September 07, 2013, 01:23:26 PM
I got to run a few practice laps to get a feel for the Dakota. It was surprisingly quick, although it handled like crap.

The Flag Pole Race was first as always, and it turned out to be more of a demolition derby than a race. I drew the #1 starting position which meant that even though I started out in front, i had to weave through the entire pack of cars to make it around the first Tire. On the green flag I mashed the throttle and roasted the rear tires, so I had to let off to gain traction. If the tires had bitten, I would've been far ahead. I nearly made it through until I got hung up and block, and when I finally managed to back up and get out of it I was near the back of the pack.

The Dakota was decently quick in the straights so I could often gain lost ground back on my competitors, however there were several demo derby cars out there who weren't afraid to ram anyone in their way. I got nailed pretty hard a few times.

At one point I took the high side while approaching a tire and noticed a car REVERSING down the track along the wall. I slammed on the brakes and locked up, sliding, but came to a stop just before him, until I was hit by the car behind me and shoved into him.

Amazingly my front end bracing was excellent. I thought I'd under-built it, but completely protected the front end of the truck from severe damage.

I took a few shots to the rear end and a couple in the driver's side, mostly from the same driver who clearly thought the object of the race was to crush everyone else's cars into cubes.

Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0jO_qNf0r8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOCqF7oWf28

Damage after the Flag Pole Race:
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/q88/s720x720/1238755_10151705738409775_1001632013_n.jpg)
(https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/q87/s720x720/1239720_10151705738399775_56542283_n.jpg)
(https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/q86/s720x720/1185802_10151705738719775_2049977552_n.jpg)
(https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/q84/s720x720/562297_10151705738839775_1288260383_n.jpg)

I was near the end of the pack for the trailer race which is a decent starting position, as you have a better view of what's going on.

Unfortunately, no strategy mattered this time around. It was simply chaos. Utter, pure, unadulterated carnage. Boat sliding all over the track, trailers flipping over, cars spinning and sliding and smashing... it was insane.

I was doing my best to not get too involved with other drivers, but had to bump and rub a bit to make it fun to watch. Once my trailer got nailed in the X and I lost a wheel, I knew it was only a matter of time before they threw the Black Flag on me so I had to make the next lap count. I set my sights on a speed boat being towed by an 80's Regal (the same driver pulling the camper in the July race) and attempted to drive his trailer sideways into the grass, hoping it would catch a rut and tip so I could ram it off the hitch.

Instead, I jackknifed him and when I slowed down (so I didn't hit his car), another car came out of NO WHERE and broadsided me at probably 30mph. It knocked the wind out of me and instantly I felt immense pain in the whole right side of my body. As a precaution I waved the track officials to stop the race and send the Paramedics out to check on me (and get me off the track). By the time I had taken a few deep breaths and calmed down I was feeling much better. No injuries, just sore muscles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoJnu2qNkgY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19Vp0gDfTU4

The guy who hit me? The same guy bulldozing everyone in the Flag Pole Race. We're all out there to bump and spin each other but these are NOT demolition derbies and most of our cars are not built as such. Therefore, what he was doing was dangerous to everyone, as evidenced by what he did to me. The rules clearly state no tow-vehicle contact during the trailer race (aside from incidental contact) and he assumed he could just plow through me since I was in his way. Even though I'm the only one who got hurt, i was certainly not the only one pissed off as this douche bag.

(https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/q77/s720x720/1173695_10151705355869775_1078200710_n.jpg)
(https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q79/s720x720/1208792_10151705356844775_1388427705_n.jpg)
(https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/q82/s720x720/1233398_10151705357069775_158534533_n.jpg)
(https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/q80/s720x720/1231467_10151705356314775_1842681236_n.jpg)
(https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/q80/s720x720/999750_10151705356089775_541821186_n.jpg)
(https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/q79/s720x720/1005112_10151705740409775_1420394993_n.jpg)
(https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/q83/s720x720/1185261_10151705740369775_410550730_n.jpg)
(https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/q72/s720x720/1233416_10151705355619775_299312635_n.jpg)

Final resting place at the junk yard:
(https://sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/q83/s720x720/1239667_10151705740549775_1273384109_n.jpg)

More videos to come later.
Title: New Truck
Post by: MiniVanMan on September 12, 2013, 08:46:18 PM
I'm still pretty heart broken over the Dodge. That was a damned good truck... but alas, it was not meant to be.

I had two options for what to choose for my next race vehicle. Fast and fragile, or tough and slow?

I went with the latter.

(https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/1230050_10151716036924775_1400579191_n.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/iLuwCQk.jpg)

1981 Silverado. Not sure yet if it's a 305 or a 350, gonna have to find the casting number. I drove it about 15 miles back to my house. Seems to run really good, doesn't smoke, starts right up on the first crank, but it DOES have some problems.

The pitman arm is wasted, the pass. side wheel bearing is wasted, and the upper shock mount is very loose. It was a chore to drive home. If I can just get it to the shop, it'll be all set.

I paid $460 for it, he was asking $600. It's worth at LEAST $400 in scrap, maybe more, and then there's this:

(http://i.imgur.com/LW4iFrg.jpg)

BRAND fucking new tires. I can sell these for probably $200. We'll see.

More pics/info to come.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: angry hampster on September 13, 2013, 07:16:49 AM
A 73-87 Chevy can be just as fast and agile as you want it to be. :D


https://www.yearone.com/Catalog/1967.87.chevy.gmc.truck/suspension/springs

https://www.yearone.com/Catalog/1967.87.chevy.gmc.truck/suspension/kyb
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on September 13, 2013, 08:32:38 AM
I'm curious what the fast and fragile option was, although for trailer racing I would go with the Chevy either way... just to damn hard to kill.

  Also I would suggest if you can start milling plates for things like shock mounts. that way if you get whacked and shit bends you can just replace plates and keep going for the next race.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on September 14, 2013, 09:30:38 AM
By fast and fragile I mean smaller front wheel drive cars. They always do well in the Flag Pole races, but they're very prone to getting completely destroyed due to their not-so-rugged structure. A good hit on the front of a FWD car and you're almost guaranteed to break a ball joint or even destroy the trans by shoving the axle shaft inside it.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on September 15, 2013, 07:59:44 PM
  No argument here we just used to have a guy that would run a chevette and a monza as derby cars... He called his team fast and fragile so I was curious
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on September 15, 2013, 08:20:26 PM
oh haha.. nope, I don't think there are any Monza's left in the whole of Michigan :lol:

I noticed a big difference just between my two trucks. The Chevy was hard to push around. I never got spun out and when people hit me I didn't feel it much. The Dakota... I was getting my ass kicked in the flag pole race. Too light, to easy to shove around, not enough balls to push through a mess.

Turns out I'm probably off loading the C10 for an 88 Silverado.

The C10 needs a bunch of work to make it race worthy, and a co-worker just told me he has an 88 in his driveway that needs a brake caliper and some minor stuff, but it has a 350/350 combo and a 4.11 rear end. Pretty much the perfect truck for my needs.

I'll build it up stronger than my last Chevy, since now I know where they bend and fold.. and I'll be competitive for once.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on September 17, 2013, 09:40:31 AM
  Makes sense the Dakota's never were really heavy duty, similar to the S-10 with a bigger ass.

  If it's a great deal with the 88, more power too ya. I would wanna play with the 87 or older just because I know them so well, but they were known to rot the frame where the cab meets the bed. Question is the 88 efi or carbed
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on September 17, 2013, 11:46:13 AM
Carbed I believe. Motor swap. Might not work out though, his wife thinks thy can eat more for it. Gonna try to get the 81 built up. Will be plating the cab and frame (bed too) and bolting that shit together everywhere I can.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on September 17, 2013, 12:55:09 PM
 If you do keep the 81, There should be some extra bolt holes in the frame to help add strength to the cab frame mounting. I assume they require tank moving already so that's not an issue. Might wanna notch the hood so if it does get whacked it doesn't come back straight... they don't crumple easy.   You can short roll the cab so you can put in a five point without the full cage... the seat has enough room behind it. Also just for breathing might wanna stack it through the bed or run it inside the frame rail... The bodies do have a lot of empty space and can wrap around and crimp the pipe choking the motor. My buddies 78 had this happen mid derby and it sucked, granted his was a derby not a trailer race.
Title: No more trucks
Post by: MiniVanMan on October 02, 2013, 07:38:41 PM
I decided that the C10 wasn't going to do the trick. Too much rust, too little to work with. Damned good running engine but not enough else to build from. So, I sold it to some college kid for $300 and an iPad.

Ended up finding a 78 Cutlass on Craigslist with a 350/350 combo. Needs... a little work. lol

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1264857_10151756642734775_356406267_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1274817_10151756642759775_1740306811_o.jpg)

These pics are after I started stripping it. The roof is completely wasted. Had a vinyl cover and simply rotted the metal right out. Nothing I can't patch back together with some scrap sheet metal from the body shop, though.

The floors will need to be patched, too. Major holes. Despite being known for the frame rotting out from the rear axle on back, this one is PRETTY solid. Going to remove the bumper mounts and cram some square tubing down inside the frame, bolt and weld it in place, then reattached the bumper and hitch receiver all tied into one strong piece.

The engine runs good but leaks a fuck ton of oil and has a lifter tick. Not sure if there's a broken rocker arm or what, haven't had time to pull the valve covers off (which are also the main source of the oil leak) but worst case scenario, I'll throw some junk yard heads on it.

Kelly Hollister, the driver of the 66x, bought the tires I took off of the C10. I delivered them to his house last night and we BS'ed about racing for almost 3 hours. He also gave me the tour of his derby car part yard. It's INSANE. It's well organized, but he has a pile of mid-70's land yacht bumpers, over 100 various size drive shafts, 15 small block chevy engines in various stages of completion, 3 '75 Chevelle bodies, a 73 Cadillac derby project, a bunch of transmissions, axle shafts, cylinder heads, rims, tires, shifters, you name it, he probably has a LOT of it.

He's going to set me up with a customized shifter for the car, one with a reverse lockout so I can slam it into reverse quickly with no risk of it going into park. He's also got a fresh set of 350 heads he'll sell me if i need them. Of course, anything else I need, I can find it there and he's more than willing to give me a fair deal as long as I take some time to BS about racing with him.

So here's my current "to-do" list so far:
-Upper control arm bushings
-Replace valve cover gaskets, timing chain cover gasket, oil pan gasket
-Repair power steering leak
-Remove smog bullshit
-Full tune-up
-Adjust lifters, replace heads if needed
-Strip interior to bare essentials
-Partially cage it (using well pipe which is STRONG but cheap)
-Reinforce rear frame, install hitch
-Reinforce front end, build radiator protection
-Shark fin
-Patch roof
-Patch floor
-Reinforce driver's seat
-Remove glass, install wire mesh in place of windshield
-Find shorter rear end gears (I head some S10's had 3.73 gears and that they fit in the 7.5" rear end)
-Install headers
-Window net
-5 point harness
-Fuel cell
-Shifter
-Relocate battery
-Paint

That's all I can think of right now.

Freebies offered to me so far:
-Window net
-5 point harness
-Fuel cell
-Long tube headers

Yep, gonna do it right this time. Just need to come up with a new paint scheme that isn't too far off from the old one, but fits the car.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on October 03, 2013, 08:54:51 AM
  and you said the truck had a fuckton of work to do... damn.

  That said, something about you and an old O mobile racecar seems to fit. Just seems one year too new
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on October 04, 2013, 11:43:33 AM
  and you said the truck had a fuckton of work to do... damn.

  That said, something about you and an old O mobile racecar seems to fit. Just seems one year too new

Well, the cab of the truck was supported by a 4x4 piece of lumber, if that gives you any indication. After the hit I took in a the Dakota I'm not driving anything that will separate from the frame. I'm going to bolt the cutlass body down in many places.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on October 04, 2013, 12:30:04 PM
  Ahh they changed the lift spacer. Usually guys just channel it for demo with double the lag bolts.
Title: Overdue Update
Post by: MiniVanMan on November 05, 2013, 08:17:57 PM
Haven't done much on the car since I last posted, but began stripping the interior out.

(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q77/s720x720/1002003_10151830978954775_1431777949_n.jpg)

..yeah. Gonna need some patch panels, haha.. not a huge problem though as the structure itself is still solid.

Scored a bunch of free steel from a bed liner rack we tore down at the dealership. Going to appropriate it into a make-shift "roll" cage and radiator protection.

(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/q77/s720x720/1460001_10151830978929775_1344108262_n.jpg)

Also bought a set of headers specifically for a Chevy 350 in this exact vehicle, for $50 from a co-worker. Can't argue with that!
(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/q90/r180/s720x720/1391648_10151830979019775_946419131_n.jpg)

I've also decided to replace the lifters and throw in a cheap, mild cam. No, I don't expect it to make a lot of power, and I'm OK with that. I will be straight up honest, I'm doing it for the sound. I want this car to sound loud and awesome. The fans love that kind of stuff... and it'll sound great on my GoPro :D

Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on November 06, 2013, 09:14:55 AM
  Wow talk about tin moths... That's quite a bit if patching...  As for the cam job, unless your gonna pull the motor for another car after I wouldn't waste the time. I mean I understand that Trailer race cars have longer lives then regular derby cars, but still Man hours + cam is about 800 bucks you could drop in other areas of the car. I would say just plumb the headers to dumps aimmed up to get the sound you want.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on November 06, 2013, 12:00:49 PM
Gotta put a cam and, one of the lifters is stuck and probably caused problems. Can't imagine that motor will hang on long with a wasted cam lobe.

Cam+lifter kit, $120 from Summit. Motor is coming out during my car build anyway because I want to strip the car down to the bare essentials. I have all winter to work on it, no big deal.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on November 06, 2013, 01:17:10 PM
  Damn not a bad price for the whole kit.  Only other question is are you moving the shifter to the floor or keeping the column. I know we used to move it for the Derby and flag/tire races and the Chain race. Just one less thing to break or twist up. That and we found dish washer panels fit very well as floor pan replacements in a pinch cheap. I suddenly see you with loud pipes and Ride of the Valkyries blasting out of this thing.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on November 06, 2013, 06:19:05 PM
Floor shifter. That bad ass black 66x car in my photos/videos belongs to a guy named Kelly Hollister, who has been doing this kind of stuff for 30 years and literally has a treasure trove of derby parts at his house. Not just a few parts here and there, or a few of this and a few of that, but... over 100 different drive shafts, 5 complete small block motors and 10 disassembled motors, 3 '75 Chevelle bodies, a 77 Caddy, pile of tires and rims, the list goes on.

He has pre-fabbed custom shifters with a park lockout so he can slam it forward without worry of it going into park. Like, 20 of them. He's giving me one and a few extra things as well to help me along.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: revolt015 on November 06, 2013, 06:33:43 PM
The Cutlass giving you any good memories?
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on November 06, 2013, 06:38:54 PM
Mine was way nicer than this pile of crap :lol:
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on November 07, 2013, 07:30:54 AM
  Nice, don't even have to build the lockout.... Bonus score. It's a shame yours is a 78, one year older and the 75 chevelle bodies would drop right on after ya take out the olds body. Of course Malibus and montes aren't hard to come by either. Sounds like you found a gold mine of derby friend. Expect to see more progress and some mean Mods...
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on November 07, 2013, 10:37:27 PM
The only thing I worry about are the rear frame humps. They're known to be weak and one good shot to the rear end will fold the frame right down.

Watch this video starting at 3:15 to see what happens to a G Body when it gets rear ended:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1iUZUmMBqs
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on November 08, 2013, 07:12:57 AM
  G-body's are my babies, ya don't have to tell me about them folding on a good rear hit, especially once the tank is removed. There is a fix for it though. Just a matter if it's legal where you run. Once the tank is removed ya build an X frame where the tank was, and run I beam or roundbar in the short ends of the frame behind the rear hump. Also a tri brace works well at the rear hump. I've seen this setup take a newport hit and still be rolling.

  Also I have seen guys actually angle the rear bumper up so when the rear folds it folds up instead of down to be able to continue driving after a good hit. Don't think that would work for you being as they were straight derby and not trailer racing, your rear blowing up would kill any hitchability.
Title: Decisions, decisions.
Post by: MiniVanMan on December 18, 2013, 08:28:31 PM
Well, say good bye to the Cutlass. Something way better practically found ME.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/1512164_10151928009909775_1033038283_o.jpg)

92 Buick Roadmaster. 5.7 V8, TBI. 186,000 miles, very well maintained. Not a spot of rust on it. Starts and runs like new. Rides a bit soft, but that can be cured. Trailer hitch already in place. 4 door so the b-pillar will add structural integrity. Full, hefty frame. The only thing I have to do to this baby is strip it down, weld in some bracing and I'm good to go.

The Cutlass needed a ton of work, which I was more than willing to do... but I simply could NOT pass this up.

I bought this car for $500 and I feel like I payed about 2 grand less than what it's worth. The guy who traded it in took $300 for it. Poor bastard...

I'm TEMPTED to flip the car. Clean it up nice, fix the few minor things wrong with it and make an insane profit... but this car is IDEAL for my type of racing and will likely last a few years if built right. So, I'm not gonna skip on a good thing.


I also picked up my new trailer.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/778805_10151927975239775_828647936_o.jpg)

Yep. Bought this sucker for $50. Yes, that's $50, as in five-oh.

Next season is going to fucking rock.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Meatywand on December 18, 2013, 10:11:41 PM
Oh god that is going to be hilarious :lol:
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on December 19, 2013, 07:03:53 AM
  Damn I would agree you should flip the betchfire roadblaster, and make a nice little bonus for a good rig. You are however correct it can be a good runner for quite a while in your type of racing....   

  Now I have a request, you have to get an oversized totes hat and glue it to your helmet with that setup. The old roadblaster with that trailer behind would so look like a Walter Mattau camping trip.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: revolt015 on December 21, 2013, 12:38:04 PM
Mate no

Give me that Buick
Title: Progress Update
Post by: MiniVanMan on December 30, 2013, 10:15:03 PM
Starting gutting the Buick. I do feel bad about it... rust free, drives so nice... but it's gonna make a kick ass race car, and I NEVER find good deals like this, so... oh well.

(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q77/s720x720/68905_10151951863039775_1386636234_n.jpg)

(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q75/s720x720/1555502_10151951863174775_1490229170_n.jpg)

(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/q77/s720x720/1005019_10151951863054775_1883277789_n.jpg)

Swapped the front passenger seat to the driver's position because it's in better shape and doesn't have the attached middle seat (I need the trans tunnel open for the floor shifter).

Yes, the power seat buttons are functional - lumbar and all.

(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/q81/s720x720/1526642_10151951863049775_1410252853_n.jpg)
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on December 31, 2013, 06:10:08 AM
  Ahh... You didn't tell us you stole Ginger Jared Dad's car. He had a mad Monster sponsership deal too for old guy show cars. There is no way you'll lose now.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on January 31, 2014, 05:39:12 PM
  Ahh... You didn't tell us you stole Ginger Jared Dad's car. He had a mad Monster sponsership deal too for old guy show cars. There is no way you'll lose now.

Haha yeah... actually a sponsorship from an energy drink brand wouldn't be a bad idea. I wonder how I would get the ball rolling on that...

Anywhere, he's a quick sketch I did of (vaguely) what the Roadmaster should look like when done. Gonna make a hood scoop, and I have a push-bar to go on the front. Paint job will be mostly the same, but I'm not sure if it's getting the shark fin or not.

(https://scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1/1622127_10152013051519775_1476737608_n.jpg)
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Wheels84ss on February 05, 2014, 08:27:48 AM
  Not bad... Like the bull bar. Very Dukes of hazzard :yup:
Title: Progress Update
Post by: MiniVanMan on March 11, 2014, 06:51:38 PM
It's been a long, harsh winter, so I haven't been able to do much to the Roadmaster.

The past few days have been decent so I forced myself to get SOMETHING done to it.

Yesterday I replaced the leaking rear wheel cylinders (yes, despite what many think, I DO need brakes), so now it stops nice and firm. I also pumped up the air shocks a little bit to give it somewhat of a rake, for no other reason than it looks cool.

Today I welded on the radiator guard and built a crappy hood scoop (functional). The radiator guard isn't done, but it's welded in place at least. More steel to get.

(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/t1/1620884_10152089934084775_1127134043_n.jpg)

I needed sheet metal for the hood scoop so I took a trip down to the body shop and cut a section out of a door to a Traverse that was damaged and being thrown in scrap. Then I brought it back down to the shop, made my measurements, cut it up with a cut off wheel/tin snip combo, pounded it into submission with a claw hammer and fastened it down with self tapping screws.

(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t1/1959783_10152090094874775_520089501_n.jpg)

I ran out of paint so ignore the stripe - the whole car will be black eventually.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: angry hampster on April 02, 2014, 07:04:54 AM
This makes me so sad. I love Roadmasters. At least it's not an LT1 car.


Can you please buy this for the car?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-55-Black-Double-Deck-GT-Aluminum-Spoiler-Rear-Trunk-Wing-Racing-GT-/380481116187?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item589671181b&vxp=mtr


Title: Dismantling the trailer
Post by: MiniVanMan on April 14, 2014, 07:04:46 PM
As I stated before, the race track has banned camper or travel trailers from the track due to the mess they leave behind. So unfortunately, as awesome as it would have been to have mine smashed up on the track, I have to strip it to the frame.

Today I finally got some time to get started on it... and after the mess I made ripping this thing apart, I can completely understand why they don't want them at the track.

I grabbed a Sawzall, 8lb short handled sledge and a small crow bar and got to work. I started by cutting out one of the windows and making a small door way. From there I basically just grabbed a hold of the paneling and ripped it right off. Had to use the crow bar a couple of times to help it along but for the most part the sheet metal came off by hand.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/t1.0-9/p600x600/1920556_10152155355899775_8169241383157888433_n.jpg)

Then I freed up the rear section from the side wall. The plan was to make the side wall free standing so I could push on the opposite side and cause it to collapse, putting the roof within reach.
(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/t1.0-9/10247469_10152346403498139_4484171317482454417_n.jpg)

The plan worked for the most part... but this one freakin interior panel just wouldn't give up.
(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/t1.0-9/p600x600/10245406_10152155355799775_703290562975793393_n.jpg)

I had to stand outside of it and take swings with the sledge and jump away, waiting for it to collapse. Finally it did. From there I ripped out the paneling and cleaned up a bit.
(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t1.0-9/p600x600/10255840_10152155355514775_8753323776500801093_n.jpg)

Started hacked up the roof and other side after that, but eventually wore myself out so I got to a point where I could stop and gave up for the day.
(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1.0-9/p600x600/1656280_10152155355444775_6558386103771891239_n.jpg)

Hoping to have the bare frame exposed by the end of next week.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Meatywand on April 24, 2014, 08:17:21 PM
This looks so awesomely redneck :lol: I love it! And Monster isn't that hard to get sponsored by I don't think, our Haunt tried but we weren't in a big enough market. There are a couple Haunts in Dallas that have Monster sponsorships where Monster shows up in a riced out truck and hand out free Monsters.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: angry hampster on April 30, 2014, 11:05:06 PM
http://www.monsterarmy.com/programs/
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on May 22, 2014, 08:41:24 PM
http://www.monsterarmy.com/programs/

Looks like they're not currently running that program. Thanks, though!

Finally finished off the trailer. Hacked the rest of it up and threw it in the trash truck.

This light bulb was a trooper.
(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t31.0-8/p843x403/966247_10152232327534775_5982928455353597797_o.jpg)

Down to the deck, ran out of time that day.
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/t31.0-8/p843x403/966238_10152232327554775_7749404445221146754_o.jpg)

Finally down to the frame. Had to torch off the extended bits of the frame, but I'm leaving the ones by the tires - that should deter most from trying to take out my tires.
(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/t31.0-8/p843x403/10258828_10152232313229775_188641047699406293_o.jpg)

Installed my patented "broomstick GoPro mount". Tomorrow night is the Road Rage race which I'm pacing with my car. This is the view you'll see. The video should be excellent.
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t31.0-8/p843x403/10293624_10152232313339775_7670552126224542701_o.jpg)

Title: Road Rage
Post by: MiniVanMan on May 24, 2014, 05:47:41 PM
Last night was the first official rage of the season for the Carnage Racing Division. Only two events were featured; The standard Flag Pole races and the all new Road Rage event.

First up was the Flag Pole race, and it was a war zone. I was only able to film a little bit of it. The #91 who t-boned me in last year's trailer race was back and still driving like an asshole, only this time he bought a friend, in the #19 yellow Buick Century. Both of them were team driving and being EXTREMELY reckless and dangerous. We are seeing about having them banned from the track for their actions. You can see that they finally managed to take down the mighty 66x... well, unfortunately they didn't know that he's got more spare parts than most junk yards and will have his car back and running by Sunday's Enduro Figure 8. You can bet that he will be getting revenge.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urPLuMQNlJ8

This is video of the Flag Pole race from inside a friend's car. At the :40 mark, you can see the yellow #19 absolutely DEMOLISH the #36 (the same driver who was ass-packed in last year's Enduro F-8 race... that guy can't catch a break). That is DANGEROUS driving considering that most of these cars aren't built for impacts like that.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvJNpUBKTNM

Later in the video you can see the 66x ram the 19 into the wall to take him out of action. It was an anger fueled hit, but he was smart enough to hit the rear tire so there was little chance of injury to the driver. The hit bent the front frame rail and shifted the engine, shearing off the oil filter and crushing one of the headers, causing it to catch fire later in the race.

Seems like the Flag Pole race should have been titled "Road Rage" instead, given how tame Road Rage was in comparison.

So to recap, Road Rage is where a pace car sets a maximum speed and the race field has to fight each other for position until the pace car pulls off. I ran the Roadmaster as the pace car since I didn't have it finished for racing, and I also just wanted to get the video.

First up was the 4 cylinder heat consisting mostly of Pony Stocks, so not a whole lot of contact going on. It didn't take long for the drivers to get confused and actually pass me in one turn. The track was still slick with oil from the Flag Pole race, and the Roadmaster didn't grip too well, so I took a turn wide and they assumed I was pulling off and shot past me. We reset and I took the turns tighter to prevent the mistake again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo9qiHkcC6o

The V6/V8 heat was next. A bit more body contact, but still far more tame than the Flag Pole race.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHpCDoEjnBI

The first Enduro Figure 8 is this Sunday night, I'll have video of that sometime on Monday.
Title: Figure 8 Insanity
Post by: MiniVanMan on May 28, 2014, 09:22:16 PM
The 30 lap Figure 8 race was Sunday night. I finally got my GoPro mounted in the 66x, unfortunately the driver was a lot more tame this time than he usually is for some reason. Despite the lack of crazy driving, the GoPro still captured some pretty crazy action, including a major intersection collision and a rollover.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBj2zVii2iE

After I hit "record" on the GoPro, I sprinted my ass to the very top of the spectator stands to record the race with my iPhone. Despite not being able to get the entire track on screen at once, I managed to catch pretty much every significant moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73tnsog7J38

Yeah, I'm definitely never doing an Enduro Figure 8. Just a bit too crazy for me.

In other news, got the cooling fan mounted in the Roadmaster. One of the body shop guys saved one from a Ford Escape. Insurance replaced the fan because the casing had a crack in it, but there is absolutely nothing else wrong with it.

Had to do a little bit of trimming to get it to slip into the shroud, but it's ALMOST the perfect size.
(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/t31.0-8/10256502_10152244799839775_6055093653262217250_o.jpg)

I packed the wires into some wire loom and ran them through holes in the top half of the shroud.
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/t31.0-8/1596870_10152244799844775_7365064163921107816_o.jpg)

Nice and discreet, not that it needs to be or anything... I just like a clean, simple mod job.
(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/t31.0-8/10372993_10152244799849775_8583303426348212077_o.jpg)

Just have to run the toggle switches and I'll have two fans to fire up if needed.
Title: Minor Update
Post by: MiniVanMan on June 12, 2014, 09:09:59 PM
Finally got the front bumper situation figured out. My original idea saw the beam sitting out about a foot from the front of the car, i figured it would keep stuff away from the radiator. After talking with Kelly Hollister, the driver of the 66x, he pointed out that the leverage created by that length would do way more harm than good, so heeding his advice I took it back apart, flipped the beam around, shortened the pipes, seam welded the beam to the pieces I already welded to the frame horns, and voila, super strong, sturdy front bumper.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/t1.0-9/p600x600/10415595_10152276391949775_7468933558995575697_n.jpg)


Getting a bit better with my welding skills, too. Still no expert at it, but I can make 'em hold and that's all I really need.

(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/t1.0-9/p600x600/10411312_10152276284619775_107980955626593688_n.jpg)


The push bar will still be going on the front, but i have to trim up the hood and fenders (see green tape? that's where the cut will be made) and fold the sheet metal down. That hood will accordion immediately the first time I hit something.

Once the push bar is welded on, it'll get connected to the firewall, similar to what i did with the Dakota:

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/t1.0-9/1001906_10151636910299775_1802186682_n.jpg)

Front end should be plenty sturdy for my style of racing.

The rear bumper will be a major challenge... it sits low as it is, and the rear body/rear of the trunk is thin enough to kick in with my foot. Just not any support there at all. I'll probably end up having to build it it's own little cage.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on June 13, 2014, 07:10:37 PM
Got the push bar started today. More welding/filler metal to add.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/t1.0-9/10476014_10152278202094775_6207894175893472544_n.jpg)
Title: More progress
Post by: MiniVanMan on June 19, 2014, 09:08:42 PM
Got the front end almost entirely finished, just a few more things to do.

(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/t31.0-8/p600x600/10496935_10152292213384775_5451187730600340296_o.jpg)

Home made hood pins. Used 3/8" threaded rod.
(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/l/t31.0-8/p600x600/10387082_10152292213174775_1317114074305245087_o.jpg)

Rear bumper mounted, but I'm going to flip it around and weld more crap to it. Don't mind the "Don't Hit Me" painted on the trunk, that was for when I was pacing Road Rage - needed some way for people to recognize me as the pace car.
(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/t31.0-8/p600x600/10480597_10152292213189775_1632266921409763259_o.jpg)
Title: Progress update
Post by: MiniVanMan on June 26, 2014, 08:55:30 PM
Not sure anyone is following anymore, but meh:

Bolted and welded rear bumper on, welded passenger doors shut, painted the whole thing with roll-on Rustoleum gloss black.

(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/t1.0-9/p600x600/10386373_10152306593329775_3506567771057041818_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/t1.0-9/p600x600/10348298_10152306593254775_2163616741442553672_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/p600x600/10417819_10152306593294775_1963592429198414240_n.jpg?oh=2f55667ad910a95a384071b1fe6af081&oe=542FA0BF&__gda__=1411026496_c7e025a86829cf73f1aecf5cf4be6029)

Still to do:
Weld driver's side doors and install crash beam
Install fuel cell
Lettering
Window Net

That's all I'm going to be able to get done before July 11th. Not anywhere close to as finished as i want it to be.
Title: Another update
Post by: MiniVanMan on July 03, 2014, 07:03:43 PM
Race day is a week away, so today I had to really crunch and get stuff done. I actually took the day off of work to do it, but in fairness, I did come in last Saturday (we don't work Saturdays) to get some used cars done, so it's all good.

Anyway... Finally got the fuel cell installed and plumbed.

(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/t1.0-9/p600x600/10478127_10152321793009775_1263063837657147353_n.jpg)

(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/t1.0-9/p600x600/10502410_10152321793034775_8033251791285965356_n.jpg)

Got the driver's door protection on, also installed the window net. Not pictures is the spreader bar (3" pipe situated between the B pillars).

(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/t1.0-9/p600x600/10462724_10152321792949775_2119233763317667232_n.jpg)

Put my signature caution stripes on the rear bumper. Not sure if I'm gonna put them on the sides like I did with the trucks... might keep the paint job simple this time.

(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/t1.0-9/p600x600/1510659_10152321792969775_3226665247522268272_n.jpg)

Got my numbers and YouTube channel on the side, just need to touch up the lettering and outline it all with the blue paint pen. Still need to add the Graff logo to the trunk lid.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/t1.0-9/10478685_10152321793129775_5760195535417112396_n.jpg)

Just have to install the 5 point harness and finish the paint job, and it's ready to go.
Title: Race Report
Post by: MiniVanMan on July 12, 2014, 02:27:34 PM
(Videos are still processing, check back later)

My fourth "Fun Night" at Spartan Speedway was last night, and it was awesome.

First up were the Road Rage races, and unlike last time, these were much more eventful. Well, at least in the 6/8 cylinder class... the 4 bangers still were a bit timid and didn't like to wreck each other. Like last time, I acted as the pace car and led the field for a random number of laps, speeding up and slowing down to stretch them out and bunch them up. Finally once I pulled off, they had two laps to go all out and try to take the checkered flag.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrMGvqUIKbA

Next up was the Flag Pole race.

I wasn't going into it expecting to compete, as I didn't want to smash my car up too bad... but like last year, I drew the number 1 starting position, so it was almost inevitable that I would run into trouble.

I didn't.

The Roadmaster, as it turns out, is totally bad ass, and I ran away with the race. I managed to maintain my lead and eventually gained almost an entire lap on the rest of the field.

Coming up on the last lap, I got screwed. A car caught on fire between turns 1 and 2, and the driver jumped out. I stopped as did the driver in front of me (I was lapping him), expecting a red flag... but they never stopped the race, and the car in 2nd place caught up and passed me. Once I realized this I took off again but it was too late to catch up, so I ended up in second place. The race director knew this was a mistake, but it was too late to take it back, so to make amends he increased my payout for second place. I'm OK with that, everyone agrees that it was my race. The guy who won was cool about it too.

Forward View
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-eYgVKh0WQ

Rear View
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsywCRuvXwM

Then there was the School Bus Figure 8. I was put in the Batman bus.

(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/t1.0-9/10448826_541435402628719_6416843684979284893_n.jpg)

Something was wrong with it. I thought the transmission was shot. It just wouldn't accelerate past a certain point. The first two or three laps, I was miserably slow and was passed by several others. Eventually it picked up and I was able to at least keep up, and at two different points I skated through a traffic jam and gained a few positions, going from dead last (10th and 2 laps behind) to 5th place overall. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

I found out after the race that one of the front brakes was seized and only once it started burning (and glowing) did it allow that wheel to spin fast enough to not slow me down.

The Bus race was a ton of fun and I hope I can do it again someday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_ZDP0IbzDQ

Finally, the Trailer Race. I was pretty tired at this point and hadn't had time to top off my fuel cell, so the car would lose power around turns sometimes and I just didn't have the energy to go balls out like in the Flag Pole race. Even still, it was fun, and by the end I was just screwing around trying to get it sideways around the turns, which is a lot harder to do with a trailer than you'd expect.

The major highlight is that not even 1 lap into the race, #91 (the guy who t-boned me last year) flipped his truck onto it's side. I have some FANTASTIC video of that from multiple angles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnKBlSqzueg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9YHgzr8cH0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYoDovWVJpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pJKHwc4UE4

All in all, a very fun night of racing. I'm content in the knowledge that, barring a complete mechanical failure or a huge driving mistake, I would have won the flag pole race. I'm very pleased with how the car performed, and that it came out of it with hardly a scratch on it. I still have more work to do to make the car what I want it to be, and I need to repair my trailer, but other than that, I'm ready for September.

(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/t1.0-9/1908381_10152339584429775_6687343319877151146_n.jpg)
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Southern_Pride on July 13, 2014, 09:53:18 PM
I don't know much about those cars as far as what fits, but I imagine that they are pretty similar parts wise to the crown vics suspension wise. If they are you can a lot for suspension wise to make it handle for about 500 bucks.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on July 13, 2014, 10:09:06 PM
Handling wasn't too bad actually, some stiffer sway bars would probably make it about perfect. I also need to adjust the steering stops, it would actually turn TOO far and start skidding during the flag pole race.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MadFairlane on July 14, 2014, 07:26:38 PM
...and start skidding during the flag pole race.

I see no problem with this  lol
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: MiniVanMan on July 14, 2014, 08:28:24 PM
I see no problem with this  lol


Let me clarify - understeer like a bitch, lol.. bad news when you're heading for the wall. Thankfully it's rear wheel drive so it's not too hard to fix understeer.
Title: Re: How to Make Racing Even More Redneck - A Blog about Trailer Racing
Post by: Southern_Pride on July 15, 2014, 04:57:22 PM
More is always better right? On the crown vics you can triple the spring rates.