Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! BIG Productive 1st Build!

All four members of the PBR Team got together this morning to replace the drive shaft (or as one BMW manual called it the propeller shaft). We believed that this was the only part standing between us and a car that would move under it's own power. Worm had to push the beast into his garage, and Flintstones foot power is no way to ride in style.

The first thing that we had to do was take apart the old broken shaft (1/2 of the shaft was still good), and replace the broken side. It being Sunday morning and I was a little slow to getting to Worm's, and hit some bad traffic on the way. So I was a little late getting there and miss the disassembling step, but with a little pounding with a "mullet" it seemed to go back together. "Mullet" you ask? Dirk is German, and English is not his first language. And seeing that my language skills are well, I am an American and we speak English so we don't have to learn other languages; that is a job for people in other countries. At any rate Dirk kept calling the rubber mallet a mullet. I think that he should race in a mullet wig, not enough time before race day for him to grow one.
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To get the shaft on we had to jack the car up and put it on four stands. All very safe, I am sure. But it did give us easy access to the car's underside. But four guys under a car might be too many cooks... All very safe.
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This shaft thing is hard to install...

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A quick run to the auto parts store, and Alper was able to score a power steering belt, and a 16mm wrench needed to tighten up the back shaft bolts. Not sure why or how none of us had a 16mm wrench but we didn't. A 17mm wrench will get you most of the way there but I would not suggest for racing. But with the right sized wrench and little more pounding with the "mullet"... Success!

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With the propeller shaft seemingly properly installed, the hopes of the team raised on the idea that we might actually see the Beemer's maiden voyage today. Our thoughts quickly went to, what was the likelyhood that we could stop the car if we got it rolling???? An inspection of the breaks found an abandon home of a snail. Yup that is right, this car's front break disk had a snail shell stuck to it. Did not give me high hopes that the breaks would be in working order.

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With most things in "working" order, it was time to get this baby out of the garge, gassed up, and on the road. The first question; who would be the first to drive the car? I mean how much damage could a propeller shaft flying off cause, and what are all these extra bolts for? All very safe, I am sure. And after a bit of discussion, it was decided that Dirk would be the best candidate, because he would be able to recognize by sound what broke on the car's first journey.

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But with a newly charged battery, a new drive shaft, and power steering belt installed the car would not fire up. I thought that it sounded like it was not getting gas, the foreigners thought it might not be getting spark. So Dirk took off one of the spark plug wires jammed a screwdriver in the wire where the spark plug should be and laid it on the car. You know to see if sparks would fly. They did fly and gas finally got to the engine and the thing fired up on 5 cylinders. Kill the engine, reattach the spark plug, and it was time for the Beemer's maiden journey.

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Now it was time for Alper to take his first lap. The big question in everyone's mind was "Where is reverse?". All a bit nervous on if Alper was going to be able to handle this finely tuned POS, we thought that it would be best if he had Dirk as his navigator. Just like the rally races. After safely pushing him out of the drive way, he did end up finding reverse, and was off.

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Worm and I fearing a lack of gas (you heard the car, any guesses on what kind of MPG it gets?), sat out today's trial runs. But I have no worries, as there will be many more opportunities to get some time in behind the wheel before race day.

Next on to flushing the fluids, which with any luck will make the power steering work and other bonuses. Replacing the spark plugs. Taking out the AC fan. Roll Cage. Installing a muffler, which should make the neighbors happy (or at least happier). Replacing the Radiator hose. Rubber boots for the steering rack. The list goes on and on. All very safe, I am sure. Until next time drive safe and buckle up.

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