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IMSA Racecar resoration:The rebirth of the Seyfert/Buist Fiero by Dave Deerson
Started on: 01-03-2009 03:11 PM
Replies: 97 (15852 views)
Last post by: BV MotorSports on 12-02-2016 12:16 AM
ChopTop
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Report this Post01-08-2009 09:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ChopTopClick Here to Email ChopTopSend a Private Message to ChopTopEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
lol, I'm slowing cleaning out my basement and just brought my huge red IMSA Sunbrite(?) battery powered model into work today and put it the breakroom (original box and all) for anyone to take, it's already gone. Maybe it will go to a future Fiero enthusiast.

[This message has been edited by ChopTop (edited 01-08-2009).]

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California Kid
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Report this Post01-08-2009 12:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Dave,

Thanks for taking the time to create this thread on your car, looking forward to future posts on how the project is going.

Tom
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Dave Deerson
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Report this Post01-09-2009 09:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave DeersonClick Here to Email Dave DeersonSend a Private Message to Dave DeersonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Alright ,on to the first roll out as a complete car!! Now ,I have to talk about the back story going on at this point in time. My wife is a high school teacher and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study abroad for the summer.I was(and still am) proud she got it and she was pumped to get it. The program was to study in India and Shrilanka for six week. She left June 21 and came back August 6. The only orders I received when she left was 1.water my plants and 2.just finish that race car!! (so we both can get on with our lives!!). Well I ended up buying new plants! When she left the car was a bare,painted frame with just the suspension hung,aligned and bump-steered. Everything else was pre- fabbed up and stored away such as the wire,oil and brake harnesses, brackets, dash panel,etc...The body had been painted,sanded and polished months before and just needed to be fitted. Well,the car went from that bare frame to having a running engine in one week!! The rest was completed over the next couple of weeks. Now,keep in mind I really wanted to get out to Detroit to attend the 25th so there were MANY all nighters and nights where the sky was getting pretty light by the time I left the shop to go home,sleep,get up,eat, shower and go to it all over again the next day! I give alot of thanks not only to my very understanding and supportive wife for going along with this obsession of mine ,but to my employees who took up the slack at the shop when I would come to work late, exhausted and eyes redder than the color of the Fiero!!! I did not get everything done in time to get out to the 25th,and it really hurts that I did not get a chance to see the prototypes and Huffaker car in person. But who knows what can happen in the future........I was also very disappointed in not getting a chance to finally meet Paul Hosler and his screaming yellow zonker of a car that gave me this IMSA bug in the first place!!

Enough talk.............
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That's me on the right,sitting on the tires.............looking a little exhausted!!!

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The decals were done by Hudson Historics,a shop that specializes in restoring IMSA racecars such as GTP/Camel Light and GTO and U.They are period accurate reproductions of the decals used by the series and sponsers.The Pontiac Motorsports decal was recreated with help from photos and a letterhead from an internal P.M momo I got when I bought some Fiero IMSA photos,press releases and articles.
A few weeks later I finally got the car out on the track for it's shake down. I did the initial testing at New Jersey Motorsports Park,and then really shook her down 2 weeks later at Watkins Glen. To say I was happy at the way it performed doesn't even come close. Honestly,anyone who has built up a car from scratch has spent many hours sitting in the seat working the pedals,shifting through the gears (maybe making some engine sounds?) all the while trying to imagine what his creation is going to look,feel,sound,smell, and drive like.Then come the magic of the first time you slip into the seat,fire it up, snick it into gear and let it loose!! Watkins Glen is my all-time favorite track,hands down,bar none.We go there four times a year and have many laps and there. It was really awsome to finally run the Fiero there after 2 years of blood,sweat,and tears(and lots of $$$$$$$$$ too!) .I really ran there may times with my old street based Fieros and in recent years with my Spec Miata race car,so my top speed down the back stretch was never that fast,maybe 135 in my old 3.4 DOHC '88. Well this car rips up through the esses at 138 and down the backstretch at around 155-160!!! And I'm not even settled in it yet! I'm lapping in the low 2s(2:08 to 2:10) and this car should be able to crack into the 1:59s. Here are some pics we took in Victory Lane and out on track......

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This has been a project that really pushed my boundries.....in performance,in length of build,and most of all in amount of money spent. I questioned my sanity many times,but do not regret taking this challenge on at all. There's more to come,as a project like this is never really done. There are additions such as air jacks to be installed and modifications/improvements like upgrading the trans to dog syncros to do this winter, I just hope the racecar budget doesn't take a hit!
I'm very happy that many of you enjoy my build log. I'm sure there are many questions/comments out there and look forward to answering them. Years ago the only info I could get on these IMSA cars was from the small amount of pictures out on the web. So if anyone would like more pictures or info on the construction,setup or history, I would be happy to help out.

Thanks for lookin'......

Dave D.
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doublec4
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Report this Post01-09-2009 09:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for doublec4Click Here to Email doublec4Send a Private Message to doublec4Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Those are some really great pictures, did you have a professional photographer come out and shoot those while you were on the track?
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kwagner
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Report this Post01-09-2009 10:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kwagnerClick Here to visit kwagner's HomePageSend a Private Message to kwagnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That looks like a lot of fun
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CosVegFiero
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Report this Post01-09-2009 11:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CosVegFieroClick Here to Email CosVegFieroSend a Private Message to CosVegFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What a fantastic job you did on the car, a high speed work of art.

Thanks for posting the thread.

Dick
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R Runner
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Report this Post01-10-2009 08:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for R RunnerClick Here to visit R Runner's HomePageClick Here to Email R RunnerSend a Private Message to R RunnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Dave,

I just want to say that after looking at the pictures again and again, your car looks really good. No, I mean REALLY good. Frankly I think your craftsmanship is better than mine and all the details in the car show that. This is a great accomplishment and you should be proud (as it appears you are) of this marvel. Congratulations on a job well done. I hope we can get the cars together on the track some time for a little lead/follow (I'll be following ).

Everyone else......

Having built a car from scratch myself, I must say that it is much more difficult and mentaly/emotionaly taxing than most people know. Having lived though it, I am very impressed with not only the drive Dave had for the project, but the ability and unwillingness to take short cuts. It is easy to want to take short cuts at 2:00 am in the morning.
I have spent hours on the phone with Dave during this project (and before) and not doing what you probably think. I was LEARNING from Dave's build and updating MY car based on some of his advice. Things I never thought of like positon of tanks, front and rear clip structure, sway bar tuning. I still have a list of things I wan to do to my car that Dave did and I like. For example, until Dave asked, I never had really done the math on the IMSA suspension and swaybar set up. Then there was all of the help he gave me getting my rear quarters, RCB, and deck lid. That help lasted for 1.5 years! Hard to believe. I have learned so much from Dave that it is hard to imagine.

Thank you again Dave. Here is to collective learning and building friendships through common interests.

------------------
Paul

For a full history of my IMSA Build: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/789315
HHP Adjustable Sway bars for ALL MODELS: //www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum4/HTML/036556.html

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Dave Deerson
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Report this Post01-10-2009 09:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave DeersonClick Here to Email Dave DeersonSend a Private Message to Dave DeersonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
doubleC4, yes I cheated and had a pro take some pics at the track. I am a staff member(Chief of Race Tech) of NASA Northeast/Performance Driver's Association and in addition to lots and lots of track time, we also have an on staff photographer. Nolan will take pics of the drivers during their run groups and put them up as a slide show during lunch (just don't slide off the track into a big mud pit during a morning race qualifiying session and the rain!! I know!!), and then they can purchase a CD of the whole day or a frameable picture. I had him blow a favorite pic up to a huge poster size or the shop!!

Dave.
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ALLTRBO
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Report this Post01-12-2009 11:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ALLTRBOSend a Private Message to ALLTRBOEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I wish I could see both of these cars together in person!

The talent, motivation, and persistence (not to mention money and health!) of some of you never ceases to amaze me. I think the best part of it all is the chance to forge lasting relationships with people and to strengthen the ones that previously existed. You know you've really done it well when you have that.

I have the drive but the health (and, therefore, money) isn't there. Thanks, at least, for bringing the story here for me to experience!
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jerry455
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Report this Post01-13-2009 05:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jerry455Click Here to Email jerry455Send a Private Message to jerry455Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
the car looks fantastic. i worked with dave buist and he used to talk about this car, i emailed this page to him. he retired from gm a few years ago where we both work.
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HC
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Report this Post01-13-2009 06:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for HCClick Here to visit HC's HomePageSend a Private Message to HCEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Very beautiful car. Thank you for taking the time and posting all these pictures. The car on the track looks very sexy to say the least. Congratulations on a top 10 car! A + for you!
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IMSA GT
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Report this Post02-27-2009 09:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IMSA GTClick Here to Email IMSA GTSend a Private Message to IMSA GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Dave Deerson:

Cliff,
What gives???How can I get the build thread for my IMSA race car moved to the Construction Zone???


Ask and you shall receive

[This message has been edited by IMSA GT (edited 02-27-2009).]

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carbonfiber_kid
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Report this Post06-09-2009 09:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carbonfiber_kidClick Here to Email carbonfiber_kidSend a Private Message to carbonfiber_kidEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
you have done an amazing job. all i can say is WOW!
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phreakboy4
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Report this Post06-12-2009 10:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for phreakboy4Click Here to Email phreakboy4Send a Private Message to phreakboy4Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You have done and incredible job on the car, I am very impressed and at some point would love to see it in person. Hell, I would love to see that beauty in action sometime, you should be very proud because that car is truly a work of art that you seem to drive like its meant to be instead of letting it sit. Congrats
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madcurl
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Report this Post06-13-2009 01:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for madcurlClick Here to Email madcurlSend a Private Message to madcurlEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Simply put... WOW!

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



"I drive modified Fieros- anything less would be uncivilized."

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Dave Deerson
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Report this Post10-17-2009 01:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave DeersonClick Here to Email Dave DeersonSend a Private Message to Dave DeersonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well,It's been a long time since any updates from me as this past season has been very hectic. I am not one to give daily updates as I much rather get the work done to make the deadline for another track date. In addition to playing with the Fiero I have also been actively racing my Spec Miata, working on numerous projects around the house and now,yes, putting together the BABY ROOM!
But let's go back to last winter............
The offseason upgrades for the car was to add air jacks and re-gear the transmission. The air jacks would make my life much easier during the course of a track day as it is a pain in the butt to lift the car to put the airdam and rear splitter on and off the car in order to get it into the trailer. They also make working on the car much more enjoyable and ,well,....they are just too cool to play with!!
The transmission had to be next as the ratios were just wrong for track use in that 1st gear was way too short and 4th was too tall. In addition,if you have ever shifted a Porsche 930 gearbox you would agree that it is terrible!! It feels like shifting a Mack truck! I really wanted to install a Hewland racing transaxle,but at $15k,it was just out of my budget,so I would have to convert the 930 box to "dog" engagement from the Porsche style syncronizers. With this setup, using the clutch to upshift and downshift is not required. On upshifts you would put just a little pressure on the gear lever in the direction you want to go and just give the engine a little lift off the gas pedal(just enough to unload the drivetrain) and CLICK! in a blink you are in the next gear! When downshifting you can now left foot brake and keep your right foot on the gas pedal to give a "blip" to syncronize the next gear and it will go right in! There is just one company worldwide that makes replacement gears in dog change style for the 930. So I ordered them up from Albins in Austrailia and had to wait 8 weeks to have them made. Meanwhile I started work on the air jack mounts on the chassis:

Here is the kit from Palistini with everything needed (airwand,fittings,airline,jack cylinders,and safety stands):



They are vey lightweight,just 3 pounds per unit:


Mounting brackets roughed in and finished:
Front

Rear




This is where the air wand is attached to the car to lift it:


So with the turn of an air valve :


you go from this.............


To THIS!!!!:


Next time...............The long awaited (and VERY expensive) gears arrive!!!

Dave D.
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doublec4
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Report this Post10-17-2009 03:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for doublec4Click Here to Email doublec4Send a Private Message to doublec4Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Great to see an update Dave! Out of curiosity, how much do those jacks cost? I find it extremely annoying to drive my car up onto pieces of wood everytime I want to jack the car.

Everything looks great!

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

Check out my build!
//www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum3/HTML/000100.html

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IMSA GT
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Report this Post10-17-2009 05:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IMSA GTClick Here to Email IMSA GTSend a Private Message to IMSA GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by doublec4:

Great to see an update Dave! Out of curiosity, how much do those jacks cost? I find it extremely annoying to drive my car up onto pieces of wood everytime I want to jack the car.

Everything looks great!



One of the issues with a stock Fiero as opposed to the race car is the amount of suspension travel. I don't know if the air jacks would raise a stock suspension high enough to get the wheels off. Notice his last picture and the amount of suspension travel downwards.....almost none
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doublec4
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Report this Post10-17-2009 06:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for doublec4Click Here to Email doublec4Send a Private Message to doublec4Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thats a good point. However, it will definitely get the car high enough that I could crawl under for whatever reason, as well as making it easier to get a floor jack under.

Great to see yours is making your life easier !
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Dave Deerson
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Report this Post10-17-2009 06:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave DeersonClick Here to Email Dave DeersonSend a Private Message to Dave DeersonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The Palistini kits come with cylinders with 9 or 11in stroke. I went with the 11in as I wanted to be able to get under the car to work on it as opposed to just getting the wheels off. The kit as seen was $2200 as opposed to $5 to 7k for a "real" system from AP . The difference is in the hardware.This kit is geared toward the grassroots club racer and not someone who is going to run the 24h of Daytona or Le Mans. The fittings are the "push lock" industrial/truck airbrake type with poly tubing,not the more expensive aircraft fittings and braided steel/teflon high pressure tubing. After a full season, I can't complain about them as they have performed well so far. My only comment would be that I would have liked a larger bore cylinder so my operating pressure could be lower. I need to run around 375psi of nitrogen to lift my car with a heavier car needing more. This is just how it is even with the AP systems although there is a new company with large bore cylinders (4in I think) marketed toward Corvette guys so they can lift their car with shop line pressure( around 150psi),but I'm not sure of the name of the company.
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IMSA GT
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Report this Post10-17-2009 07:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IMSA GTClick Here to Email IMSA GTSend a Private Message to IMSA GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Dave Deerson:

The Palistini kits come with cylinders with 9 or 11in stroke. I went with the 11in as I wanted to be able to get under the car to work on it as opposed to just getting the wheels off. The kit as seen was $2200 as opposed to $5 to 7k for a "real" system from AP . The difference is in the hardware.This kit is geared toward the grassroots club racer and not someone who is going to run the 24h of Daytona or Le Mans. The fittings are the "push lock" industrial/truck airbrake type with poly tubing,not the more expensive aircraft fittings and braided steel/teflon high pressure tubing. After a full season, I can't complain about them as they have performed well so far. My only comment would be that I would have liked a larger bore cylinder so my operating pressure could be lower. I need to run around 375psi of nitrogen to lift my car with a heavier car needing more. This is just how it is even with the AP systems although there is a new company with large bore cylinders (4in I think) marketed toward Corvette guys so they can lift their car with shop line pressure( around 150psi),but I'm not sure of the name of the company.



Wow, 375lbs of nitrogen. There goes the air compressor idea
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kwagner
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Report this Post10-18-2009 09:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for kwagnerClick Here to visit kwagner's HomePageSend a Private Message to kwagnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Those jacks look mighty handy You say you used them a season without issues... got any (racing) video?
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Dave Deerson
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Report this Post10-18-2009 09:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave DeersonClick Here to Email Dave DeersonSend a Private Message to Dave DeersonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'd love to say I have some in car footage...but I'll get to that later. By the time I got a camera in the car at the last event(Watkins Glen), I had other issues that derailed those plans( a fault of mine that I have to get over as in the end I could have salvaged the weekend and captured some video). There's always next season..........
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Dave Deerson
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Report this Post10-18-2009 05:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave DeersonClick Here to Email Dave DeersonSend a Private Message to Dave DeersonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
On to the transaxle department........
As I said before, I would love to have been able to put a Hewland DGB into the car,but ar near $15k for a trans(yes even used it's that expansive!) I just couldn"t justify the cost for the use that I really had intended the car for. So even though in comparison it's less expensive to use the 930 box, it's still way more money that I have ever had in just a transmission for any car I have built or raced. Add up the numbers......$2400 for a good used box,$1500 for a limited slip diff,$4000 for new gear ratios/dog change conversion(YES $4000 Porsche ratios are approx. $900 PER ratio), and add up the costs of HD c/v joints, special 300m alloy axles and you can see why it is very expensive to play in this arena! That is why any perceived problem from the box necessitated a teardown of it just to be absolutely certain there was no damage done.
here's the box out and on the stand....


stripped down...


Here is the before...Note the stock style syncros between the gears



And here are the new ratios and the drive dogs on the gears and the corresponding dog rings instead instead of syncro sliders...



If you look at them closely, you may be able to see the size difference between the old ratios and new with first to the right in the pic.
Along with the new gears I added a trans oil pump and cooler to keep the gearbox temps in check. Last season the temps were just a little too high for my liking. The cooler I used was an ex-NASCAR EBAY deal for a nice water to oil heat exchanger that goes in the coolant line to the engine. That way the trans gets pre warmed and kept at the same temp as the engine- the best situation.
So once these upgrades were on the car, off to the track we went...........To much frustration and aggravation,and a little bit of fun, each time out was 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. As one set of issues were delt with, new ones came along with the new found speed.One of the sources of returning issues were the engine mounts. Since the early planning stages of this car I had designed it around the Chevy LS series engine. The motor is light, small in external dimensions,and powerful-yet not overstressed so as to run reliably on pump gas to keep running costs in check. However, I was warned not to solid mount the engine as the non-damped vibrations would skew the signals to/from the knock sensors. So I designed the engine mounts with a very hard poly bushing. This did not work out so well in practice as even though it seemed that there was no motion from the engine on the dyno, out on track it was another story. As the drivetrain loaded and unloaded, I could feel this through the gear change lever( I use a very solid rod style shift linkage such as used on small formula cars) and it prevented me from being able to shift without the clutch. In fact at one test day, a downshift from 4th to 3rd( moving the linkage forward) coupled with the decelerating drivetrain( rotating forward also) caused both the shift fork to be forced out of adjustment on it's shift shaft and the shift pivot fork inside the trans to bend! This resulted in the trans repeatedly popping out of 3rd!! NOT something to take likely in a trans with gears as expensive as these!!!!
Well, it turns out the EFI system I use had options to turn the knock sensors on or off and mine were never even enabled from the beginning! So we tuned the car with a conservative ignition map to retain the use of pump gas, fabricated solid engine mount bushings, positive shift linkage stops and had the problem solved finally. I was now able to upshift smoothly without the clutch and did not notice any negative vibrations as a result other than some extra tingling in my back as the engine revved above 6k.

Next.........more on how it's not that easy to build a car from scratch and just go fast without development,refinement and seat time,seat time,seat time!!.........................did I say scratch????
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Report this Post10-18-2009 05:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JefrysukoSend a Private Message to JefrysukoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Dave Deerson:

did I say scratch????


You've got me cringing!
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Report this Post11-13-2009 04:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kwagnerClick Here to visit kwagner's HomePageSend a Private Message to kwagnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Updates?
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Dave Deerson
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Report this Post11-13-2009 05:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave DeersonClick Here to Email Dave DeersonSend a Private Message to Dave DeersonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This weekend,I promise!........................I've been very busy the last few weeks with our last race weekend of the season and work at both the shop and home.
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kwagner
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Report this Post11-14-2009 08:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for kwagnerClick Here to visit kwagner's HomePageSend a Private Message to kwagnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Still racing in the middle of November? Is that just because of the nice weather or is that how long the schedule normally goes?
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Dave Deerson
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Report this Post11-17-2009 04:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave DeersonClick Here to Email Dave DeersonSend a Private Message to Dave DeersonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
With a rare free moment, here's the latest:
Yes,we race into November. Our (NASA Northeast/PDA) last event was Oct 30,31 and Nov 1 at New Jersey Motorsport Park where I brought out my old reliable Spec Miata. Alot of fun even though it was cold,rainy and dreary!
But to the Fiero.......Well, nothing risked,nothing gained! Noone can accuse me of building a trailer queen,that's for sure!! as I now have scuffed her up not once, but twice!! Both times had possibilities of being complete disasters, but luckily (it was pure luck,not driving skill) only relatively minor cosmetic damage resulted.
The first incident was at Pocono at the North Course where I spun off at high speed due to the throttle sticking wide open! A pebble(believe it or not) of the perfect size as any larger it would not have gotten in where it did and any smaller and it would have fallen out, got wedged in the throttle shaft and return spring on the LS1 throttle body. Thia all happened so fast, that I never processed what was going on as I went from "driving mode" to "saving mode" in the blink of an eye! As I spun off the track into the dirt/grass/rocks at high speed backwards, the front airdam got caught on the grass as the car bounced. This ripped the airdam completely off and into 3 pieces,but also took part of the left front fender with it. Escaping with only some 'glasswork to do, I wrote this off as a fluke accident. A little fiberglass, filler and paint and the car didn't look like anything had happened.












So on up to Watkins Glen,my favorite track,looking forward to great weather and 3 days of on track fun. Well the second day,Sat. I overstepped my bounds a little. I must admit that up until now I have been very naive in thinking that I had a handle on this car. The reality is that the car is still very much untested and settled in that I have less than 10 full,trouble free days total on the track with . Many days were partial ones due to gremlins and new car issues. To try to think that I could hammer out fast laps at a place like the Glen with a trial setup on the car( spring/shock rates were an educated guess using notes from Jack Ondrack's Huffaker car) and limited seat time was a recipe for disaster. I am very upset with myself for not taking my normal systematic approach to stepping up the speed as I become settled into the car. I have now figured that the spring rates were way too stiff and made the car very twitchy at speed. This was not too apparent at places like Pocono,NJMP, or Monticello as they are not not as fast and flowing as the Glen. So on my 3rd or 4th lap of the 2nd session on Sat, I was coming up through the "esses" in 3rd gear at 6k rpm with is somewhere near 125-130mph, was of the line by about half a car width(no big deal really) as I came past the last flag station where the track bends to the right as it opens onto the backstretch. There is a bump there(never paid much attention to it in all my years there in slower,less horsepower cars) that if hit just right,while on the power would upset the car. With the Fiero having such as small wheelbase and very low polar-moment of inertia, this upset was all it took to get the car sideways in half a heartbeat! As it happend, I knew I was in for a ride as nothing good ever happens at that part of the track when you loose it. Cars usually pinball off the Armco from left to right,shedding parts! I locked up the tires to stop the rotation and slid backwards at well over 100mph for what seemed like forever!! I wish there was 10 feet more of grass between the track surface and the Armco,because I just couldn't scrub off enough speed before I went into it. Since I was on grass the tires stopped squealing and engine was stalled so it was quiet enough as I hit to hear the sound of fiberglass crunching and cracking!! The damage report is that again,only cosmetic, not structural damage resulted. I was VERY lucky again as I very well could have written off the car right there!! The rear of the quarter is smashed, and the rear center bumper is cracked .






I do have a spare new right rear quarter panel,but it would be less work to repair this one than to remount and fit the new one. So I pulled a partial mold from the spare quarter panel to layup a repair section. The rear of the quarter panel was very crushed and most of the body lines were very lost,so a repair section was in my mind the best option.



That's all I have pics for at this point,although the repair section has been grafted onto the quarter panel,roughed in and ready for primer now. I will get some up to date pics posted soon!!
The last pic shows the marks from the Armco!!
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kwagner
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Report this Post11-17-2009 05:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kwagnerClick Here to visit kwagner's HomePageSend a Private Message to kwagnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Egads! Quite an eventful season.
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FieroMonkey
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Report this Post11-20-2009 12:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroMonkeyClick Here to Email FieroMonkeySend a Private Message to FieroMonkeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A hair raising experience. Glad you and the car made it out in one piece.
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California Kid
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Report this Post11-20-2009 11:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm curious about what appears to be a Plexiglas "wicker strip" extension on your Whale-tail. If you could give me a little history on this, what material you used, and how you formed the corners, it would be appreciated.

Sorry to see the pics of the "racing rubs", but as you said, "it could have been much worse", small price to pay for truly enjoying you car!!!

[This message has been edited by California Kid (edited 11-20-2009).]

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Dave Deerson
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Report this Post11-23-2009 05:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave DeersonClick Here to Email Dave DeersonSend a Private Message to Dave DeersonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The "wicker strips" are copied from the Huffaker cars. It was an attempt to get more downforce from a spoiler that was "seeing" alot of turbulent air off the roof and short butress style declid/rear sail panels. IMSA's rule at the time said any extensions to the spoilers can only be 2in max. So the wickers are 3in in width( 1in mounting surface) pieces of 1/8in Lexan. I get mt Lexan from an online store, Professional Plastics, I believe. Lexan that thin will bend pretty easily, but I helped it along by heating it with a heatgun and bending it around the wing. Professional Plastics will shear the pieces to width,which is handy as you can't get a cleaner,straighter edge. Then just cut to length with a jigsaw,bandsaw or whatever you have and sand down the edges.

It really is a bummer when the car got damaged, but the learning curve at this level,type of car and speeds involved is steep indeed. Even a spin off track at a high rate of speed means not if but how much damage is done. This is something anyone who puts their car on track must accept. In a racing event or just driver Ed/open track days, when you enter the track you must realize that anything can happen and accept those risks. Again,things could have been much,much worse and because of this last incident I went back to really look at the suspension and work things out on paper my way instead of going blindly with someone else's spring choices,settings,etc. I should have known better,it turns out that Tthe front suspension on Jack's Huffaker car uses a different theory in it's geometry than mine. As such,I now know that the spring requirements are very different. Some friends and I are already looking at renting a track for a day to test. This makes it very easy to run a few setups to test things back to back with the track to ourselves (10 cars max) in an 8 hour day.
So onto some body work this winter! Some additions as well. I would like to add a "real" fire system (a 5lb handheld just doesn't give me comfort) and some data aquisition( a friend is an AIM dealer) to help with testing, tuning,and learning to drive this beast!
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California Kid
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Report this Post11-23-2009 06:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Dave,

Thank you very much for the response, have been meaning to add some form a "strip" to mine to complete the look, and effect.

I'm no stranger to running off the track, I "quickly" found out things can happen very fast, and thought processes have to be very refined when on the track. Luckily for me, my error only resulted in some scuffed clear coat, and right side tire remounting due to pea gravel trap pit.

Real fine machine you have there!!!!

Tom
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PhantomMs1
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Report this Post11-24-2009 09:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PhantomMs1Click Here to visit PhantomMs1's HomePageClick Here to Email PhantomMs1Send a Private Message to PhantomMs1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would agree with what everyone is saying, I am glad to hear you are ok and only minor damage was done. You do have a truly remarkable machine!

I am not sure about everyone else but I for one would love to have some high rest (1920x1280) or bigger desktop pictures of your car once it is back on its wheels.

I hope everything goes well for your cosmetic fixes, and dont forget to keep updating this thread its awesome!
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Dave Deerson
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Report this Post11-25-2009 06:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dave DeersonClick Here to Email Dave DeersonSend a Private Message to Dave DeersonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Phantom,PM me your E-Mail. I've got a ton of pics a pro photographer friend took of the car at Watkins Glen. They are all large format so I could make any of them into posters if I wanted.
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pro street dave
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Report this Post11-27-2009 12:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pro street daveClick Here to Email pro street daveSend a Private Message to pro street daveEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Grate job I am a big fan. not my kind of racing. but still a big fan.
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IVANNATINKLE
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Report this Post11-27-2009 12:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IVANNATINKLEClick Here to Email IVANNATINKLESend a Private Message to IVANNATINKLEEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
this things sweet!
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troyboy
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Report this Post09-14-2010 06:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for troyboyClick Here to Email troyboySend a Private Message to troyboyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A IMSA bump
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jim94
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Report this Post09-15-2010 01:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jim94Click Here to Email jim94Send a Private Message to jim94Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
wow this is some build, great job.alot of my friends drive dirt cars in new egypt, n.j. and i sure do miss help building race car bodies. i hung out in sayreville n.j. be safe and have fun.
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