Saturday, August 29, 2009


Them wires don't look healthy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spring Cleaning

The intake is a mess, the bretaher hose venting the blowby back into the intake was taking perfectly good engine oil and moving it to the parts of the car that don't need oil. We spent a day removing all the intake tubing and flushing the gunk out. The amount that poured out of the intercooler could have filled a glass.

I hope this stuff goes back on as easy as it goes off.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Toys Toys Toys

Not just any springs, you're looking at NASCAR springs. Sure, the lengths may be a bit off, and the spring rates might not be dead even (300 vs 325lbs). Some may even call them mismatched. But we call them $10.99. And we love them like our very own.

We splashed out in the front with $60 Summit racing 600lb springs.

Off to the wreckers tomorrow to get a second pair of spring seats to hold them in place.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The bushings are in. After taking an hour to get the first sleeve out we made the executive decision to outsource the bushing removal to a third party.

Only problem was the third party wasn't in the partying mood. Every place we went into could spot those damn control arms from acros the road. "Are those from a Volvo?" they'd ask, then quote us $100/hr.

So in the spirit of LeMons we cheaped out and did it ourselves. It took a bit longer than we had hoped, but the bushings are in. All it took was a hacksaw. Hacksaws and heat. And a big honking sledge.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Go with the Flow

It's not just any muffler. It's a MAGNAFLOW Muffler, with 3" of center-in center-out flowtitude.
Cause the old one isn't in the best of shape:
Incidentally, those are not 'back pressure reducing speed holes' in the pipe (as I mistakingly told Tiago).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beating 'round the bushing pt2

Turns out these buggers are tricky to get out. The rubber core falls our easily enough, but the remaining thin metal which has now rust-welded itself to the control arm takes a bit more persuading.

Yes, we are using the hallowed turbo "Virgo" wheels as a workbench. We make not apologies.

Oh, and to answer all those that accuse me of slacking off with a camera while Tiago does all the hard work?

Yes I am.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Beating 'round the Bushing

We have our bushings (+ trunk of spares, thankyou Brent) 12 bottles of Liquid Wrench and a breaker bar. Time to tackle the rear.

If you look carefully, you can see slightly more wear on the old bushings. See if you can spot it.
I think it's safe to say we've found the source of our clunk.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Seek and ye shall find

So we've been trolling Craigslist looking for bargains, and sure enough a set of busings turn up for a 240. A quick pitch quick lowball offer (with the accompanying LeMons pitch) and we've scored a set of rear bushings for $30!

Next evening we go around to pick them up from Brent.

It turns out Brent likes his Volvos.

They're littered everywhere as we enter the garage (two Turbo Wagons were in incredible condition) and what he didn't know about Volvos wouldn't be worth knowing.

So he brings out the bushes and a box chock full of spare parts... that he thought might come in useful for the race. For free.

You name it's there. Spare altenator, spare fuses, spare relays, spare radiator overflow water bottle thingy.

Hey, he says, what condition are your front strusts in? They can get rusty so hold on, I have a SPARE SET OF FRONT SHOCK ASSEMBLIES!

Me & Tiago can not believe this. The man is a legend.

(And after all this he was still nice enough to suffer through my photo shoot)

We left 3 hours later having cleaned him out of almost every 240 part he owned, and he was still giving us golden nuggety tips of Volvo advice as we pulled away.

So far it's been two for two. If we come a third person that's been as helpful and friendly as Brent & Jim then I'm only buying 240s for as long as I live.

Brent we salute you!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Interior has been stripped & sold for $220!

Sold to Jim, a great guy who found himself an even cheaper 240 with a tired interior.

Thanks to his help we were able to strip ours out in just over an hour.

While we were there he kindly offered to run a compression test on the enginem, the results weren't as bad as I had feared.. 130, 120, 120 & 90.
Not catastophic, but oil consumption may be an issue in the race.

Thanks Jim!

During this he also noticed that the plugs weren't tight in the block, so he gapped and reinstalled them properly.

Driving home, it could be a function of the extra noise, but the car feels a lot quicker now.

unfortunately there is a slight issue with Carbon Monoxide entering the cabin while driving, which means the car will need to be parked until we find some kind of leaky-free exhaust sorted out.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Commuting Challenge: Week 1

Driving Impressions of my first week in commuting in the Turbo Brick.

So far so good.

I haven't dynoed the car yet, but I'm guessing it makes peak power somewhere near idle, because there's certainly none in the rest the rev range.

That's possibly a little unfair, because she cruises on the motorway quite happily and between 3-4000 there is a gentle push of turbo, (though the redline must have faded because 5500rpm seems wildly optimistic).

Oil continues it's desperate escape from the car, but hopefully it's the result of an clogged oil separator, which is next on the list.

Summer is tough. I notice I'm becoming jealous of people with working windows.

Smug bastards.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Oil, oil everywhere.

In the intake, coming out of the filler cap, leaking around the gearbox, coming out of the diff, the underside of the car is a glistening coating of fresh oil.

In fact it's everywhere except in the engine.

Probably should look into that.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Introducing the Crew

"The most International LeMons team Ever Assembled."*
*Probably not.

Tiago aka 'El Santos'
Portugal - The Instigator

The brains of the operation. Which is either unkind to him, or unkind to us. Tiago is a spiritual guide on our quest to find peace and solitude amongst the chaos of Thunderhill raceway.

John aka 'JC'
New Zealand - Co-owner

McLaren, Amon, Dixon. As a kiwi, racing is in the blood. (All New Zealanders must complete a mandatory season in an open wheeler before their 18th birthday). Entering the LeMons may give John the credibility to be let back into NZ.

Moritz aka 'Das German'
Germany - Ministry of Transport

Strengths: Precision, speed & control.
Weaknesses: Germans do not have weaknesses.
Combine coming from a country that houses the Nordschleife with the invaluable skill of owning a truck & Moritz is an obvious addition.

Dan aka 'The Chainsaw'
London, UK - Pit Chief

Dan's car control skills are unparalleled among his peers; which is surprising as he doesn't actually own a car. Or a license.

Either way, all we know is this: Don't make Dan angry.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fuel Problems... no more.


A dodgy ground was the cause of our fuel problems.

New wires and a solid connection and we're back in business.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fuel Problems

Just finished day two of trouble shooting the fuel system.

The buzzing main pump & hesitation lead us to believe there's an issue with the in-tank fuel pump. Since there was also spare pump in the box of spares that came with the car, we deduced that must be it.

We pull the pump and decide to test it before swapping it over... and it runs fine. But there's a broken ground leaving the top of the tank. Aha! Success.

But we need another spade connector so down to the hardware store for a $2 part.

$20 later (crimper, more wire, hand cleaner, WD40) we return, fix the wire and put it back together.

Connecting the outgoing fuel line proves tricky. The line is brittle plastic, impossible to put back on, so down to the hardware store for fuel line.

Back at base, Tiago installs the new fuel line and we're in business.

Start her up and.... fail.

Maybe it's electrical. We'll try again tomorrow.