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Old 04-13-2012, 12:00 PM   #1
magpiemini
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Talking Willy Wankel Cruise Lines

I have been getting a lot of help from this forum in the first 30 days of ownership so I decided I should share this project. I picked up this 1984 RX7 GSL-SE for $200 (owner could not pass smog) and will build it to the 24 Hours of LeMons racing specifications. The team name will be Willy Wankel Cruise Lines and the car will resemble the oompa loompa boat from the 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

24 Hours of LeMons Website

This is my first rotary. So far I have...

1. Found two sets of stock 14x6 rims
2. Mounted a set of Yokohama tires on one set
3. Removed the broken air conditioner compressor
4. Removed the broken power steering pump
5. Ordered new drilled and slotted brake rotors and Hawk pads
6. Ordered a weld in roll cage from Evil Genius Racing

I have noticed.....

1. It's fuel injected
2. There is an upgraded rear sway bar
3. It has a LSD
4. I have a lot of stuff to remove in the interior
5. It has power windows, shame I have to remove them
6. Oil Metering Pump (new to me)
7. Dual Coils
8. Windshield wipers work

Don't care about....

1. The stereo is broken
2. The seats are a bit ragged
3. The paint is horrible (perfect for this project)
4. Rear hatch release does not work
5. Fuel door release does not work
6. Brake rotors are rusty

The car seems to drive ok, pretty fast compared to our 1978 Triumph Spitfire with a stock 1500cc engine.

The plan is to have it race ready for the Arse-Freeze-Apalooza at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, Desert Center, CA, December 8-9, 2012

We will take it to a few track days before then for testing. I will begin posting pictures here soon, I hope this build amuses you...







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Old 04-13-2012, 12:09 PM   #2
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Here is an image of the front of the original boat. I have to resemble this without impairing the driver's vision so it will obviously not be to scale. I may replace the front with an oompa loompa posing as a mermaid. The top of the RX7 will be painted like the top of the boat.

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Old 04-13-2012, 12:15 PM   #3
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I can't find a picture showing the back of the original boat but it has a paddle wheel that is powered by an oompa loompa on each side.

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Old 04-13-2012, 07:08 PM   #4
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
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I took off the right side brake rotors to examine and order longer wheel studs. Will post pics when new studs arrive and are installed with new rotors.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:03 PM   #6
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I've wanted to enter a lemon race. It just seemed somewhat pricy to only run 1 race. Best of luck getting it together.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:19 PM   #7
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Good luck on that!

I'd love to see some pics if you get it all together!
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Force13b View Post
I've wanted to enter a lemon race. It just seemed somewhat pricy to only run 1 race. Best of luck getting it together.
Building a car for one race would be silly. We race 4 times a year. In California there are races at Buttonwillow, Chuckwalla, Sears Point and Thunderhill.

Currently we are racing a 1978 Triumph Spitfire - Team Sex Pistons.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:01 PM   #9
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Whatever floats your boat. -Pun intended.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:36 AM   #10
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New drilled and slotted rotors, new pads and longer studs. I ordered the Moser MSR-8255 studs from Summit Racing. 12x1.5mm 2.5" long with a knurl diameter of .505". Here is the stock wheel with the stock short studs. Not safe for racing and will not pass tech in most racing organizations.



This is what the old rotor looked like with short studs.



Installing the long studs in the front rotors was easy, just press them in. The rear studs actually need to inserted into the axle so I had to pull them into place.



New left rear rotor with long studs installed



Now look at the wheel installed, plenty of stud, even enough for spacers if want to add them



I do have some caliper questions but I will ask them in a separate thread.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:40 AM   #11
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be careful with the rear sway bar ,1st gens with a lsd are a bit ass happy .if its a 3 way adjustable go to the lightest setting . Some guys don't run them at all . good luck
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattallac View Post
be careful with the rear sway bar ,1st gens with a lsd are a bit ass happy .if its a 3 way adjustable go to the lightest setting . Some guys don't run them at all . good luck
Hmmm that is a different opinion. I have read adding a stiffer rear sway bar helps with the Watts Linkage problem.

It was set in the middle position by the owner who autocrossed it. I will definitely do some track testing on each setting, thanks.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:08 PM   #13
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Last weekend I had someone come and take a lot of the interior out, they needed it and I don't, saved me some labor. I also sold the spare tire donut with a brand new spare. I have the Clarion stereo units and rear speakers for sale on craigslist.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:22 PM   #14
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There is a track day at California Speedway one hour from my house this weekend, just signed up for Saturday. Needed to prepare a few things this week...

1. Drained and refilled the differential with Valvoline GL5 85w-140
2. Topped off the transmission with same
3. Changed the oil and filter
4. Changed the spark pluts
5. Upgraded the battery mount
6. Installed a fire extinguisher within drivers reach
7. Since the power windows are still installed but the switches were removed last weekend with the interior, I rigged up a way to operate them from the cigarette lighter.
8. Bleed the brakes
9. Installed new battery terminal covers
10. Replaced the fuel filter
11. Cleaned the K&N air filter
12. Checked the radiator coolant and added some Silkolene Pro CCA Ultra

I think I am ready for a good shake-down
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:31 PM   #15
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The track day was a complete success. Car ran beautiful, ran cool, handled very well considering it's age and no leaks. Leaks? Yes I am used to racing British cars so this was a nice surprise for me. I made an in car video with a GoPro mounted on my helmet, see below.

Tires: Yokohama ES100 185/60-14
Fuel: Union 76 87 octane with Maxima racing 2 stroke oil premix 1oz/gal
Oil: Castrol GTX 20w50
Trans and Diff Valvoline GL5 85w140
Upgraded rear sway bar, center hole

So I tried many lines, some good, some bad just to see how this car would handle it. In LeMons racing you can not depend on any one racing line, it gets crowded.

Around lap three I went in a little hot on a bad line and used the run off. Besides that, it took all I had nads enough to try. My top speed was 115 mph but I started using 5th gear on the front straight just to save the engine a bit so I was down to about 110 top speed. 115 was almost redline in 4th gear. I could hold the banked turns 1 and 2 at 105 but usually kept it around 100 mph. I have seen that wall too close before. Here is the layout of Cal Speedway "ROVAL" as they call it.



Here is the helmet cam video. At time 16:05 I was doing 100mph as I shifted into 5th, see how fast that car passed me...

Helmet Cam Cal Speedway

...and yes I need to get used to the short throws and stop shifting from 2nd to 5th.

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