Birth of a Club Racer

Do you have a project going or will you be starting a project here very soon and just want to keep a log of everything you and when? Share with everyone every step of the way what sort of progress you are making on your project.
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mtownneon
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Birth of a Club Racer

Post by mtownneon » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:09 pm

We've begun work on a 1995 Neon ACR Coupe that's going to be restored to it's origional intended purpose.

We came across this car on Ebay over the summer. It was in Cincinnati and it didn't run. Broken timing belt was the reason given. Further investigation during the auction revealed that several timing belts had broken in succession. The car was a little rusty in a couple of spots, had a bunch of miles on it(196,000), and was missing it's origional springs and struts, replaced by some standard parts store replacement springs and KYB struts. The up side was that it had all of it's documentation that it was an ACR, it'd never been wrecked, and that it wasn't going to go for much.

We won the auction obviously.

We drug the new found treasure back to the shop to see what we had. First step. See if we could make it run. We tore into the engine looking for what was making timing belts snap. We suspected maybe a seized water pump. No, the water pump spun freely. What we did find was a bent exhaust cam. That would do it. We pulled the head discovering that there were also several bent and/or stuck valves yet the pistons looked no worse for wear. Better yet, the cylinder walls looked perfect! I mean no scuffing, beautiful cross-hatch, and virtually no ring ridge. The guy we bought it from insisted that other than the timing belt issues, the engine had never been torn into. He claimed proudly about how well he cared for the car and that it'd had nothing but synthetic oil from day one.

We had a spare head assembly that we knew was good, tossed on a new timing belt and the engine lit off and ran like a new one. We drove it around for a month or so, noting what problems it had. Things like the right rear strut mount was wasted, the shifter was sloppy, but for the most part, it was a solid piece.

So with all that said, here's where we are today.

Our goal is to race the car in SCCA's Improved Touring catagory in ITA and in NASA's Performance Touring catagory in PTE. We intend on using the car to test and further improve our springs and develop other products as well. As of this post, we've done a pretty basic gutting of the car, have 80ft of tubing, and are in the process of removing all of the under-coating and sound deadener.

Here's some pics









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Last edited by mtownneon on Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Erays3r
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Post by Erays3r » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:15 pm

Fixed your pics :)


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mtownneon
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Post by mtownneon » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:23 pm

Thanks!
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INVUJerry
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Post by INVUJerry » Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:09 pm

Put in a racing seat and you're good to go!
2005 Neon SXT Black - SOLD
1998 Neon Coupe - SOLD
2004 Neon SRT-4 - 13.9@102
1995 Neon ACR NYG Sedan - 12.5:1 SOHC coming
1996 ACR Sedan - Koni yellows, stock as hell
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robert 'bob' paulson
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Post by robert 'bob' paulson » Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:24 pm

man, that is such a hideous color. i'm so glad i own one. :lol:

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mtownneon
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Post by mtownneon » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:29 pm

robert 'bob' paulson wrote:man, that is such a hideous color. i'm so glad i own one. :lol:
We're thinkin' the color will be our secret weapon. As all the other racers are nausiated when they are subjected to the color, they'll not be driving at 110% and we'll just run off and hide!
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mtownneon
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Post by mtownneon » Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:08 pm

Well, we're over the hump on the fabrication, finished the cage and seat mount yesterday and fab'd up an exhaust for it today.

We're waiting on some odds and ends to finish the fab details, such as a quick release for the steering wheel, tabs for the belts, and a correct window net to do do the mounting for that.

Next up is the suspension, then blow the car back apart for paint. Then on to final installation of everything to get the car ready for the driving school.

In the mean time, here's some pics.............

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Post by uta_flyinghigh » Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:45 pm

Thanks for the pics. I was planning to have a roll cgae made, these will be a big help !!!

UTA
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mtownneon
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Post by mtownneon » Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:57 pm

haven't posted in a while. Got her painted and mostly assembled. Still have a couple of small things to take care of yet such as tow hooks/straps, install the sway bars, align it, etc..

Here's a few in all her glory........

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Post by Ladi3sman55 » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:09 am

awesome! that looks so damn sexy! good work sir!
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Post by Tyler » Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:13 am

sweet! Looks very nice
97 sohc- 'Victoria'
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mtownneon
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Post by mtownneon » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:49 am

Thanks for the compliments. We put a lot of work into it and it's nice to hear others like it.

We put some laps on it yesterday at Putnam Park. 100 Speed was holding a lapping day week-end so we used it as an opportunity to shake the Greon down. We put somewhere between 100-150 miles on it, and it looks like we have a race car by God. It only took a small amout of sort out to get the car comfortable, and we only had a couple of minor problems.

The first is the current engine, the car's original 200,000 mile DOHC is experiencing some blow by pushing some oil out around the oil fill cap. Looks like a better breather system will help that and will be in place before Nelson Ledges.

The second problem is the tranny pops out of third once in a while at high rpm when you get off the gas. We haven't installed new shifter bushings or motor mount inserts yet so we believe that is the cause there.

Even with the worn out engine, the car has good speed and acceleration. We put it on the dyno Saturday to see just how little we had to work with, and the results were a tire smoking 90 hp at the wheels! And when I say tire smoking, I mean tire smoking literally. We had a little too much toe in it for the dyno and the tires were scrubbing pretty badly so it was quite a show! We probably left about 10-15 hp behind because of that. At Putnam, I was running between 110-115 mph at the end of the front stretch most laps. It's become a quest to see just how long this engine will last.

On the chassis side, things worked pretty much as we had hoped. I had to get used to the rock hard compound Hankooks (C30) and get used to driving a front driver at speed. Yup, I swapped ends a couple of times. It didn't help that the morning sessions were being run with temps in the high 20's lower 30's. But things got better as the day wore on and I was able to really explore what the car had to offer. The car is stable all the way to the edge of control and when there's heat in the tires, it comunicates pretty well when you're about to over-step the limit. It corners very flat and the only real issue I had all day was some front end bounce in the transition between turns nine and ten, but a little adjusting on the Konis solved that.

The day came to end with us out of gas and a bunch of info to help us get the car to where it needs to be. I'm now itching to get to Nelson and get the school completed so I can join the fun at ORP (IRP) in May. We have the major components of the race engine complete with final assembly the only thing left on it. The car still needs it's log book and I'm going to try and get that done this week or next.

The best part of the day was all of the positive comments about the car. At lunch, all the corner workers commented how they liked the car and had fun watching it. Several of the other attendees came by to look it over and had nothing but good to say about it. The one thing that everyone also commented on was how loud it was. That's something else we're probably going to have address. We do have a Dynomax bullet muffler on it where the cat used to be but it's still got a big mouth. I like it, but Brian's concerned the sound cops are going to get us. They got to catch me first (LOL)

Dave
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#9 ITA Neon Coupe
2009 IndySCCA Assistant Regional Executive and Solo Co-Chair

www.performancedrivenllc.com

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