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"Swamp thing" JBC enduro car!


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Sunday we made one last attempt to better the car and were encouraged to find that we had fuel on the tank side of an in-line fuel filter feeding the low pressure fuel pump but just a trickle on the fuel pump side - so we bypassed the pump and started the race with great hopes!


Jeff had first stint again because it seemed like I had gotten quite a bit more seat time than he did on Saturday.


Where's Waldo?








Here's the rolling start




The race had not gone on long before a car left the track, skidded up the hill inside turn 9, and hit a post in front of the turn workers stand!




Fortunately, the driver was unhurt.  Unfortunately, the car belongs to our friend Curt from work and they would not make it back out Sunday, the car hit the post square on the front and it crushed the radiator and bent both frame rails in toward each other in an un-repairable fashion - at least with the tools they had in their pits.








They had to black flag the race and repair the barrier.




At least Jeff was getting lots of seat time!






Once racing resumed, it wasn't long before the fuel starvation issue returned.


We fought it all day and by the end, were down to 20-25 minute stints between re-fills.  Man that sucked!  The track ultimately dried out and Jeff got his fast lap 2:01.897 before handing me the car to finish the race.


But first he played a trick on me and sent me out with a loose gas cap so we were black flagged after dumping 3 gallons of gas around the circuit in 2 laps.  *blush* 


My last stint was so much fun though!  Dry track, starting at the end of the line in a double yellow  procession.  When we got green it was so much fun hunting down one car at a time and passing them before the car started starving for fuel again on the very last lap before the checker flag!


But we did take the checkered flag - both days - and drive the car onto the trailer at the end of the weekend.  Not everyone can say that.  And many cars went home in pieces.  You wouldn't believe how far some of the cars flew off the track in the wet.  We certainly made the best of it.


Oh, and we got a new tattoo!




The winning BMW on Sunday gave me this at the entry to turn 6.  Maybe that's how you have to drive to win the class?  Maybe he just out-braked himself and it was a simple mistake.  You are supposed to drop into the pit lane and report damage but I saw him skip that bit so I did as well.  After finding out he won the race, then I knew why.  He would have received a 5 minute penalty which would certainly have cost him the victory.


Anyone have a 2dr driver's door?  How about a rocker section?




What an awesome weekend!




Thanks Jeff, Thanks Brenda, Thanks Christel, and we sure missed you Sam!





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  • 3 weeks later...

We have a couple months 'till the next race we are doing this season but Jeff and I couldn't wait to get the gas tank out and see what in the heck has been causing our problem.


We emptied the gas, filled the tank with water and purple power (twice) and then took the plumbing torch to the fuel pick-up assembly.  If that sounds scary it is!  And even with twice cleaning and draining the tank, the torch eventually found enough fumes to make a pretty good *POOF* from the filler neck.  Too bad we didn't have a potato shoved in there!  It would have launched it over the neighbors house for sure.


After melting the solder and drilling the tack welds we were able to pull out the assembly.




Unfortunately, the pick-up was not as bad as we were hoping.




We could get a wire in and around the corner from both sides without too much trouble.  The only real possibility left is that something in the tank was floating and blocking the pick-up or something on the bottom of the tank was lifting up and doing the same.  We'll be sure to give it a couple of extra cleaning cycles before we put this back together - with larger diameter pick-up and probably a notch or cross-drilled hole or something that will still allow it to pull fuel even if the face is blocked.  I wonder if we could enlarge the hole in the tank big enough to install a Holley Racing HydraMat 




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Meanwhile, we need to improve the cockpit ergonomics now that the driving duties are split 2 ways instead of 3. 


Jeff has an electric power steering column on the way and Thursday, we decided to finally take the steps necessary to move the seat back.  This is no small task.  It will require a new cage. 


Jeff made the first cuts.




Kind of funny to start with the door bars since they did such a good job protecting me at the last race, but this would allow us much easier access to everything else inside the car.


Like the last day of a garage sale.  Everything must go!






Monkey bars!




I can't believe some of the old cheater racing teams figured out how to store fuel in these things!


Many years ago, I found a guy up in Mt. Vernon looking to sell his Bluebird Coupe.




It didn't end up working out (he changed his mind about selling) but years later he did end up selling it - to Rich Roberts, who hauled it down to GA with him.  The good thing for us is that at some point in time it had a cage installed but only tack welded - and Jeff ended up with it!


So with a little modification...




We started the process of test fitting the cage into the Swamp Thing (and figuring out where the heck all the tubes go) and it looks like about 75% of it will work as is.  We will just need new door bars and potentially a new dash bar.  This is getting very exciting and my back is already thanking me!




So for now...  our 510 is CAGE FREE!  I wonder if Trader Joes would sponsor us?  : )


We have a few more upgrades in the works.  Watch this space! 

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Wednesday after much prep work and stump grinding, we started installing the "bird cage"




The front bars sit in a very similar place to the old ones so we will be able to pick up the dash bar tubes perfectly.


The hoop is now at the very rear of the square tubing along the sill.




It used to be in FRONT of the B-pillar.  now look how much room we will have!




Another view showing how much farther back the hoop is now (rainbow marks old location)




Moved back 8"? 


My back already feels better.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The birdcage continues to take shape.  Doesn't seem like we've gotten two far but at our current rate of one evening per week we're doing okay.  Fortunately most of the grinding is done now.  I've spent hours just getting rid of the old cage mounting points!


Going to have to step it up soon though, the next race is now less than two months away!


Welding the top of the cage in the lowered position






Complete with gussets






Cage lifted up to the roof and welding in the rear diagonals and dash bar












Jeff...  time for a picture dump from your phone!

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This picture is awesome! 


Let me know if you need any tubes bent up again. 🙂

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Here are a couple pics I took.  Turns out I need to take way more!

Carter at the track trying to fix our fueling issue.  




more fixing 





Removing the old cage.  The new one sure is nice!




Sorry Steve my new neighbor has a tube bender so we don't need your help any more.   I think will will think of something you can help us with 🙂


door bar. 




Hmmm something new coming with the steering too! 







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