|F4 Rallysport > Skye's Rally Journal > 2002
|Dec 21, 2002
Hey I'm back, I know you missed me. Some news to report, got the title to the
car finally, it was basically a salvage so there was a bit of extra paperwork
and sleuthing to do. Good piece of paper to have! The XR will likely go on
the rotisserie tomorrow in anticipation of the cage arriving from Sweden in the
next couple of days. We also began the design process for "way bee-chin" rear
disc brakes, will have to fabricate caliper mounts and disc hats with the
correct offset so they will clear cheap and nice Saab rally wheels. If we went
to Compomotive wheels there would be more clearance, but if we're fabricating
it anyway we might as well save some dough. A new (used) bi-wing has been
sourced, I'm brainstorming on colour schemes, and considering swapping in the
2.2L Mopar Turbo engine management system. All glass aft of the doors is being
replaced with lexan, fake C-pillar is being cut out. I think that's all the
miscellaneous items going on at the moment.
The nascent Pacific Northwest rally club known as
Crazy People (CCCP) is coming along nicely, Comrade Bottles has already
been so inspired as to organize a rally sprint sometime in Feb, probably
the weekend between Thunderbird and DooWop. Our brothers and sisters
from the People's Republic of Canuckistan are of course welcome to join
our little revolution - get on the mail list for more information. Fun will
be had. Fun is required. It is the will of the people.
|Nov 18, 2002
engine bay doo-dads all removed, heater fan box out, "keeper" parts
organized and crated. Rebuilt the garage too, I think it will stay up this
time, made some X bracing with the rope and it held up during some pretty
strong winds. Unfortunately that meant the ground was very wet while
working under the car getting the lumps out, I've narrowly avoided
pneumonia I'm sure. All in all, I'm pretty close to where I wanted to be,
rebuilding the car cover took a bit of time away that I could have spent
tearing out the fuel and brake lines, gas tank, and popping all the windows
Next up is removing the seam sealer and undercoat off the body shell, with a
little help from our friend Liquid Nitrogen. I'm off to Taiwan for a copule of
weeks, when I get back there might even be a roll cage main hoop in the car.
Onwards and upwards!
Congratulations to Petter Solberg on his first WRC win.
A great drive in the Rally of F**in' South Wales!
|Nov 13, 2002
Found a great T-shirt with this logo on it - pretty damn funny!
Pretty much sums up my philosphy. I'll be rockin' it at the races
In other news, I think my white trash garage fell down in the high winds.
Time for a little re-engineering.
|Nov 4, 2002
After an epic battle, the multi-headed Serpent of Merkur was defeated! The
must weigh about 50 lbs. I'm not sure if the elation I felt was from
finally getting it out of the car or due to blood loss from all the cuts on
Various ancillaries removed, now soaking exhaust manifold and engine
mounting fasteners in penetrant. The weekend after next is the only other one
I'll have to work on the car this month (going to Taiwan for the holiday), so
I'll be pushing hard to stay on schedule.
Nice suprise, I have picked up a
limited slip differential (LSD)
for the car. I didn't think I would be able to afford one this year, but
JVAB Imports came through with a very cheap junkyard solution. Just have
to make up a small run of adapters to help it mate up to the XR shafts.
|Oct 27, 2002
Got the temporary garage put up, works pretty well, invented it myself
this week and cost less than $100. Should keep the rain off, and I
strung up some lights so I can work on it even though we enter the
miserable dark cold wet season known in the NW as Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, March
and sometimes April.
Radiator out, AC compressor out, almost got the main loom all the way
out. Now that I can work on it on weeknights it should go faster, assuming
I won't be working more overtime at the "day job".
|Oct 20, 2002
Got almost all of the wiring loom out, thankfully the XR has a separate engine
management loom (although mine's partially melted, thanks previous owner!).
Still need to undo the forward part of the loom to the lights, wipers etc
before I can pull it free. This is all going to be rewired. As you can see
it's got a slushbox right now, which will be sold. Front windshield is
cracked too. Still a long, long way to go.
Uhh, you remember where all the wires go, right?
|Oct 15, 2002
Interior now gutted,
all that's left inside is the wiring and the steering column. Most of the
wiring is going to be chopped out, once I figure out what's essential and
what isn't. There are a heck of a lot of idiot lights in this car which we
will be deleting. Keeping the system simple is important and there is
quite a bit of weight to be saved, too. Of course, the
Booboo kittens helped.
|Oct 6, 2002
Put a deposit on a roll cage and replica GrpA suspension for the XR today, no
turning back now! Looks like everything is coming together, with a tentative
goal of competing in the Thunderbird TSD in BC in February 2003. I've also
started pouring over the Ford Motorsport factory Sierra preparation manuals
which contain a wealth of information on building up these cars, even to the
point of exact suspension settings and tires sizes on factory cars at various
events. No doubt this will be a huge advantage in getting the initial setup of
the car correct.
|Sep 28, 2002
Looked at the car,
crunched the numbers, consulted the Signficant Other - it looks like I can
do this very near to my target $5000 budget. Might be some developments
this weekend. Wild West was fun, we randomly picked a Motel 6 in Tumwater
to stay at (big up the Tumwater dnb massive!!), and woke up to find the
Mitsu team (Rhys Millen et al) and a half dozen Subarats parked outside.
Our own personal Parc Expose. The Super Special was fun, and not too wet -
the Saabs were gloriously loud. We only had time to check out one stage
after that, it was a blast watching the cars haul ass down the long
straight with one bend (who would lift and who wouldn't?) and into the
Square Right while the Speed camera chopper blasted down the valley
tracking them. Some other good news, it seems Merritt is becoming quite
the rally town with Mountain Trials coming up (WCRC), and involvement by
the new Active Mountain Raceway project also getting involved with rally
stuff in the area. I've been working on buying property only about 30
minutes from Merritt for a few years now, so this is great news.
|Sep 6, 2002
Going to the WildWest ProRally in Olympia, WA tomorrow, but just as a
spectator. No ride yet... next year. I really should have volunteered to
work as a marshal, but I didn't get my act together in time. Volunteers
are the lifeblood of rallying.
|Aug 27, 2002
Considering a Merkur XR4Ti now, going to see a car for sale this weekend at
JVAB Imports. It gets 175 hp and nearly 200 ft lbs torque out of the stock
"Lima" inline-4 SOHC 2.3L with turbocharger and it's quite reliable. I
always thought these were odd little cars, but apparently outside North
America it was known as the Ford Sierra and in Cosworth RS form not only
did it look much better, but was driven to many international rally
victories in the late 80s and early 90s including:
The high powered rear-wheel drive car was naturally at a disadvantage on
loose surfaces compared to the all-wheel drive Lancia and Mazdas but still
did suprisingly well in those events!
- 1988 - 1st overall - WRC Rally Corsica (Tour de Corse) -
Didier Auriol/Bernard Occelli and also 3rd on the 1000 Lakes Rally in the same year. Carlos Sainz, in
an identical car, consistently came in around 5-7th position.
- Manx International
in 1987 (by Jimmy McRae/Ian Grindrod), 1989, 1990 and 1995,
- Mark Lovell of recent SCCA ProRally fame drove a Sierra Cosworth successfully early in his career
- The Sierra Cosworth was the first factory ride for Didier Auriol,
Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae
- Not to mention its absolute dominance of
British Touring Cars
in the same period which was so crushing they had to change the rules to
ban it just to give others (*ahem* BMW M3) a chance!
Dollars-to-smiles ratio could be very high in this car, and it's very important
to me to have a make of car that has a rally history (especially as a factory
backed effort) as I don't have the experience to engineer the needed components
from scratch. Another huge bonus is that I can upgrade to Cosworth 2WD, or
Cosworth AWD drivetrain, and then simply transfer everything to an Escort shell
if I want to go that route in the future (the Escort Cosworth 4x4 was based on
the floor pan from the Sierra Sapphire, shorted a few inches). I really like
having an "upgrade path", from an entry level Club car all the way to a full
blown Group A monster, that doesn't involve tossing everything and starting
over. Still have lots of logistics to work out though, before I get serious
about anything. I've picked a budget, now lets see if its possible to go rally
|Aug 24, 2002
Congratulations to Nick Marcuse and Rob Dunn of Seattle who came in 1st in
class in their 88 323GTX in the 2002 Alcan 5000!! I had never heard of this
race before, it looks like my kind of fun. Maybe in 2004?
|Aug 23, 2002
I've wanted to go racing for ages, and now that the student loans are paid
off and I've researched all the options I think I'm ready to go ahead.
I've thought about autocross, karting, road racing, and almost went with
Formula Vee, but rally is what really captures my imagination; I think it's
some sort of primal urge that has been laying dormant in my BC blood. The
Mazda 323 GTX seems to fit my criterea; not too expensive, AWD, fast
enough. They are kind of hard to find since only 1,243 were sold, but
there seems to be a fanatical underground following for these cars. Thanks
to a generous offer by 323gtx list member Matt, I'm going to go check out a
rally-prepared GTX this weekend, can't wait. My girlfriend keeps telling
me "you don't need another car", but on the other hand she's almost as
addicted to WRC coverage as I am, so thats a good sign.