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"Swamp thing" JBC enduro car!


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On 7/2/2020 at 9:54 PM, carterb said:

I grew up in Shelton and when I was a kid, C.R.A.P. had the best window display ever!  A tiny little tube frame hot rod with a toilet mounted behind a small block V8.  "Powered by C.R.A.P." was their slogan. 




Maple valley used to have Cedar River Auto Parts

Can't believe how well you guys turned that back around AND snagged 2nd! Congrats!

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Thanks for the supportive comments guys! It sure was a challenge for us to keep this beauty going!

I'll mostly be packing my updates and comments into video format for our youtube series going forward. That's time consuming enough so I probably wont get to putting many details here. However I certainly keep up with the thread and enjoy the feedback from you guys.

Enjoy! I'll hopefully keep them coming.

PS. All our raw race footage will also be stored on the JBC channel.


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All our raw footage:

I tried to put any fun time stamps in the descriptions. If you see something interesting I missed, let me know so I can add 🙂



Mostly Me Stint 1 day 1.



Jeff and Carter doing the short sprint race in between the endurance days



Mostly Jeff Stint 1 day 2



All Jeff Stint 4 day 2


Edited by volkswagner
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  • 3 weeks later...

With our next race not scheduled 'till the end of September - and since we finished Shelton with a running car, things have slowed down a little with the Swamp Thing.


We did get together a couple weeks ago to look over the car and revise our to do list.




but before we got started - I wanted to get some pictures of my 510 whale tail on the race car in order to help make some "for sale" ads for it.


The lighting was not kind but here are some pics anyway...












Well this turned out to be a real mistake because Jeff and Sam think it is "Radical" and "Awesome" and "Excellent" and all the other good 80's T-shirt expressions and now want to run it on our car at the next race!  Sam's not even worried that he might not be able to see over it.


Speaking of, he took on the unenviable task of replacing the starter (the old one worked but sounded like a tin can full of rocks)






while Jeff removed the driver's seat (calm down ladies)



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That session was followed by some internet purchases - new front brake pads and a center rear brake light.


I got the same Power Stop pads we bought last time - plus a racier set - to see if they hold up to the heat a little better - Jeff was complaining about brake fade toward the end of his stint.






What good is a brake light if it doesn't have "Excellent brightness"?!


Also, I traded a local 510 guy a nice set of bumper over-riders for a RWD SR20DE distributor assy




Oh - forgot these in the last post:


Swamp Thing ready for the next step.




Looking at our fueling situation - we have concluded that the fill spout is holding us back.  The fill tube is vented - but the vent is just this little hole - plus, our fueling jugs fit in the housing just right and even block that off!!!




We are going remove the inner tube and bore out the cut and door at the base of the filler neck.




That way, we'll just be dumping fuel into the giant hose - with plenty of room for air to escape.  We might also have more of a warning when we are approaching full.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I was really curious about the distributor that failed on us - so I took it apart.  : )




I wanted to see a few things:

1)  if there was any more damage we could not previously see/detect

2)  if there was a way to get a good look at the optical sensor

3)  if there was a way to correct the position of the encoder wheel relative to the sensor


The sensor is integrated into this top plate assembly




I would love to know if Nissan sells this separately.  My assumption is no.  : (




The slot in the sensor is too thin to really see inside to verify condition




Upon re-assembly - I was able to press the shaft into a different position axially to center back up to the sensor




It might work perfectly now - if the sensor is undamaged.  The stakes are a little high trying it out again in the racecar though - so we'll keep the loaner from Corey's SR20.


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After weeks of talking about this and that, we finally got back together Thursday to start chipping away at the to-do list on the racear.


First order of business, dealing with the transmission.


Since we STILL have not started a rebuild on any of our existing broken ones, Jeff graciously donated the 5spd from his NA SR20 that he was running in Hey before swapping to the SR20DET




Then we painted Swamp Thing black!




Just kidding - that's Jeff's beautiful '68 510 2dr

That's where that SR20 & 5spd was heading before we rudely interrupted the process...  Sorry Jeff.


Swamp thing about to go on the lift for the tranny swap




The "old" tranny:




We really need to get working on a rebuild...


By 8:30 we were done which was good because it was dark!  It's no mystery that we are nearing the end of summer here in the NW.


Still a few things to do before we can go racing again in 2 weeks.  Watch this space...



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Spent another evening on the car.   Got allot of little things checked off the list.


Sam picked up where we left off last week and finished modifying the fuel filler neck - then re-shaped the fuel sending unit float arm so that the gauge will read empty when we are actually empty.


I worked on mounting the whale tale while Jeff and Sam messed with the rear suspension.  Our goal was to lower the car a little to improve rear tow (we were ~3/8" toe in) since we had no more adjustment in the brackets.




In the process, we found that we can't lower the rear of the car due to some tire clearance issues.  But that's okay because another look at the crossmember revealed that we actually COULD adjust the toe out more. 




So the boys got everything locked back up and we set it on the ground for another alignment check.






1/16" toe in.  Perfect.  (we think?)




While it was up in the air we checked the u-joints and such.  All good.  Well, nothing looked like it was ready to fail anyway.


Let's see, oh, I re-clocked the steering wheel so it should be pointed straight the same time the car is now...


And then Jeff mounted the 3rd brake light. 




Hopefully that will help keep us from getting rear ended by BMWs...


Pretty much everything else on the list - we think we can live without for the race next week.  Except the power source for the GoPro.  But that will have to wait.








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We again participated in the Friday "Test and Tune" Track day put on by Turn 2.


High points:


The bridge to the infield was OPEN!

I got to drive the chicane configuration during one stint.

We found and fixed two more issues with the car - before the actual racing!


Here we are rolling out to our first session






The infield had great viewing for probably 70% of the track.  It will be amazing once grand stands are erected up there!


Here is Sam taking the first stint.









Just a couple laps later he was coming around 8b following a WRX which had some flame coming out from under the front valance.  (the smoke is from all the US forest fires, not the WRX)








Here is the photo sequence of the WRX fire.


When he parked it at the turn 9 flagging station, neither the driver or the flagger apparently knew the car was on fire.  Jeff and I were yelling from the fence and the driver finally got out of the car.  We couldn't tell if he tried to activate the on board fire suppression system or not but if he did, it didn't work.  Then he actually lifted the hood!  Scary!  More scary was how long it took the recovery vehicle to arrive - and without a fire extinguisher.  He actually had to take the time to uncoil a hose from the back of the truck and turn on water - and he had no safety gear himself.  It was all quite exciting!  (the session was red flagged while all this was going on)












































The fire made their engine compartment pretty crispy!  They worked late through the day and evening and were actually back on track later in the weekend.  Amazing!


Apparently the cause of the fire was a newly fitted header which melted the power steering hose.




Edited by carterb
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The remainder of the day was a little more straight forward.


Not all the Lucky Dog cars participate in the Friday sessions but there were quite a few of us enjoying the track time.




From up on the ridge, I caught Jeff doing "the potty dance"


































One of the first troubles we found was split coolant hose - found almost by accident - but fixed with quick precision back in the pits.  So back to racing then.








































I have over 300 photos here if you want to see pics of the other cars in our group as well as the Ferraris and such in the other run groups.





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During lunch, Jeff and Sam were talking with the mobile tire guy and struck a deal to balance our tires for $20/set




Then came the "up-sale"  : )  We swapped a couple tires side to side on the rims - Shelton turned out to be a real right side tire cooker!




One of the wheels took over 3oz of weights to bring into balance. 




The others weren't far behind. 


Back on the track then:





Oh so much better!!!!


That really calmed down the "warp speed" shaking around 85mph.  Back to the track then.




Jeff found our next tow rig




My daughter works at ACE hardware while attending GCU.  I thought I'd let her know I was thinking of her this weekend.




Once the track was closed, we jacked up the car and started looking it over (as we always to) and Sam found something loose in the left front.  At first we thought it was the outer tie rod but it turned out to be the inner as well. 


The outer wasn't too big of a deal as we found one through O'Reily's that would be ready for us at 7:30am the next morning.  The inner however was part of the steering rack - from a MkII Ford Escort - not sold in the US.  Fortunately, Jeff reached out to some JBC customers and found that JRock had not yet installed his - and he's only in Olympia.  So Jeff went to his shop to pick it up, along with some new GT Specialties Powder Coating decals.  : )






Edited by carterb
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Saturday morning Sam, with replacement parts in-hand, Sam finished the front end rebuild and we verified toe settings.




Then it was time to get back on track




And back on track we went.


I drew first stint on Saturday and immediately felt very comfortable in the car and started putting in laps considerably quicker than I ran in June, by about 4 seconds!  Our reward was being bumped out of C and into the middle of the B pack.   Oh well, we'd rather drive as fast as we can rather than sandbag for a trophy, as we learned some other teams are doing.


Brenda caught Jeff and Sam goofing around while I was hard at work.   : )




Well okay, I wasn't working that hard.  I was sitting still for the first to two red flags during my stint.






racing is more fun than sitting...






Another fire - another red flag




Proper fire response




Then later, the same Porche had a front row seat for this Miata recovery








When you have almost 100 race cars racing for hours on end, stuff happens...


The schedule for the weekend was really unique.  Lots of individual races in a "tournament" style scoring system.  Didn't matter much, we just enjoyed all the track time. 




The only thing that slowed us down on Saturday was a rear toe adjustment and a black and orange flag due to "noises and off-pace" which turned out to be the wear indicators (squeekers) on our front brakes.  We changed the pads and rejoined the track.  The new pads were much better than the previous and by the end of the day, Jeff had eclipsed my fast time in the morning with a 2:03.8 (or something close to that)


The evening sun has an eerie glow these days doesn't it?




The last race was a 2 hr enduro.  With about 40 minutes to go - we were black flagged again, this time because we had no tail lights.  Something we already knew about but didn't realize they were required.  The boys bypassed the headlight switch so that all lights are on all the time and Sam rejoined the race to the finish, which was quite dark at a smokey 8pm September night.



Edited by carterb
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Sunday morning we wake up to do it all over again!


I think we swapped in a couple new (ish) tires on the right side, looked over the car once more, gave it a bit of a hand-wash (thanks Brenda)






and headed out to the grid




Our 510 was pitted next to a 240Z which was pitted next to a 350Z which was pitted next to a Miata with a BRE paint job.




Here is Sam in the "B" line waiting to take to the track






The race start was delayed 20 minutes due to fog of all things.  But here is a video the grid taking the green flag.




Sunday was going pretty well except for fighting brakes...  Before they were all gone though Sam was able to get into the 2.02s and claim our fastest lap of the weekend - and cementing the fact that we are now a B class car.


I had the last stint of the Sunday enduro and despite the fading brakes (at one point I came in the pits with them smoking! - that's new) we were still battling away when on the penultimate lap, the car suddenly started shaking so bad I had to back out and limp back to the pits at 1/4 speed.


It turned out the front driveshaft U-joint gave out and with only the two 35 minute sprints left, and the spare driveline in Everett, we packed up early and headed back North.




It's always an awesome weekend when you can drive the car back onto the trailer at the end. 


As a bonus, my 620 gave me no troubles this weekend as well.


Sam is working on compiling the GoPro footage but until then, good night!






Edited by carterb
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Just like that, it's time to work on the car again.


We have PIR coming in 6 weeks.  We needed to make another list...


Fist step, get up on the lift and get that skull shaker driveline out of there.




Our new grade!




Along with finding we had no more pad left on the front brakes, we found that the wreck at Pacific Raceways (we assume) also bent one of the mondo JBC steering arms!




All teams need a doer and a thinker (or a worker and a watcher?)




In the background we noticed a nice little collection of 510's and Bluebirds and got distracted for a moment




Our accidental version of this awesome desktop rendering from The 510 Jungle




Here is the bent steering arm




And the list:




We have some work to do!

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Bonus post:


A while back, Dave Carroll was reaching out on facebook trying to find a little of the history of our car (before we took ownership).  He found a couple of the individuals connected with the car but didn't come up with any photos or anything from its circle track days.


Fast forward to a few days ago:


Jeff has a parallel Swamp Thing thread on The 510 Realm and posted a pic of our car with the new whale tale.  Byron reads it and is reminded of a car he took a picture of back in the 80's.  Then proceeds to post a picture of that car!






I will never complain about how high off the ground our racecar is.  : )

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