Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The big trip to Big D was a stunning success. If only this success would carry over to this car holding together for 24 hours. Lets review the goals for this past week:

1) Drive Slaab to Dallas, well, really Denton (which is really South Oklahoma).
2) Do not get arrested, stopped, inspected, or looked at in a funny (non-ha-ha) way.
3) Install roll bar, seat, steering wheel, etc into car, and not get injured
4) Do not break anything
5) Drive Slaab to Houston
6) Do not get arrested, stopped, inspected, or looked at in a funny way.

By all measures, the trip accomplished all goals (well, Bruce did burn his hand on the welder. Oh, and our key got broken in the ignition by, uh, Bruce's butt. In Bruce's defense, why is ignition on the floor anyway!?! In Saab's defense...why is Bruce's butt on the ignition?!?). We even got the car painted in a stunning interpretation of the Swedish flag.

The trip to Dallas was uneventful, apart from the ear-drum blowing wind buffeting inside the Saab. Luckily, one of us (i.e. not Dave) was smart enough to bring an iPod with earphones. The car ran at a nice steady 75-85mph the entire way, and only managed to lose around a half quart of oil....all of which ended up on the chase vehicle's windshield. We also determined that a) the fuel gauge is a POS and b) the temperature gauge is a POS.

For proof that this race machine can drive 85...see below. Also proof that the gas gauge and temperature gauge suck.

We arrived in Dallas / Denton / Oklahoma around 7pm, and immediately started to defending our car to Bruce, who wasn't swayed in his opinion that the car was a piece of swedish metal with some dodgy tires attached. That night, we got most of the roll cage tacked into place with only a minimal amount of rework, cussing, injuries (Bruce's hand), and damage to the car (broken key).

Saturday morning, we dragged ass our way back to the shop, and fiddle farted our way through the morning until Andrew The Welder showed up. We're not sure if Andrew bought into this being a race car, but he attacked the welding in a hurry. He was extremely enthusiastic about welding on top of our rubber fuel lines and metal brake lines. He thought that added a nice challenge to the mix.

It should be noted that having the right tools to do the jobs required, in a shop with space makes a huge difference in all of this work. For example - having a welding machine is nice. Having a fork lift to lift the car up is also equally nice. Who needs jack stands when you have a fork lift? Wish I would have snapped a picture of the car up on the fork lift, but I forgot.

Other work that day was mounting the OMP racing seat (its low), lowering the steering wheel (its also low), mounting the fire extinguisher, removing unnecessary glass, finding a new key, and getting more beer. We also decided to start painting the swedish car, including the 24 Hours of LeMons logo on the rear trunk.

This is taking too long. Here are the pictures of the finished product:

Here is the new "bracket" that strengthened the now lower steering column (which tends to bind up a bit off center due to the new angle. In other words - this part will break)

Bruce donated all of this time for free, so I can't make fun of him. No really, I can't. This is Bruce's weld:

This is Andrew The Welder's weld:

The rest of these photos show the car ready to go. The car, apart from the graphics package, oil leak, and generally small items getting it ready for race day are left. The drive home was uneventful, if you call driving a car with no side or rear windows painted like a Swedish Flag with a window net on the door sitting in a very low seat with minimal visibility out the rear normal. We did have one cop scare, but he just kept on driving past without a care in the world for us. Most people on the road are too busy talking on their cell phones (or taking photos of their speedometer at 85) to notice other, you know, cars on the road.

Just look at all the fine european engineering sitting there...its almost too much for one household!

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