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#4096440 - 02/13/21 06:07 PM 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build
Traffic22 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 185
Loc: CA
Well, not that anyone has actually been waiting, but over the last couple months I've asked a handful of questions here while preparing my car to race in Lemons. First, I want to thank all those who contributed by helping me find correct wires to tap, bolts to remove, etc.

Back in October of 2020, I retired from a 29+ year career in public service. I've always wanted to race cars, and was looking for a project to keep me busy in retirement. For years, I had read about and watched videos of people running in the 24 hours of lemons series. The premise if you're unfamiliar, is junk cars endurance racing. It has been described as Halloween meets Gasoline, and looks like an absolute blast. (Here is more info if you're interested. 24 Hours Lemons)

The story of the car is as follow:

She started out life as a San Joaquin County Sheriff's car. As best as I can tell from the service records, she spent the first part of her life as a regular patrol car. Somewhere around 75k miles, she was transferred to the Custody Division, fitted with a massive stainless steel dog cage, and spent the next several years at an honor farm of some sort.

When my race team and I were looking for cars, we scoured the auction yard for just the right car. This one had a lot to be desired; the upper half of the motor (Intake, radiator, coolers, coils, and alternator) all looked mostly new. Once we won the car at auction and got a hold of the records, we found out why, those parts were all relatively new.

For those of you unfamiliar with San Joaquin County, in one word, hot. Very hot, all summer, hot hot hot. This car racked up the idle hours, and the AC system and a lot of related components were all replaced in the last 5 years.

We got her for $950.

Here she is "fresh," from the auction house.



The first step was to clean her up a little, and get an idea what we were really working with.

Here she is looking a little better after about 50lbs of dust removed.


So part of the deal with Lemons is your car can't exceed $500. You can offset a higher purchase price by selling parts you don't need. There are a bunch of exemptions to this rule for various types of equipment, and ultimately, everyone cheats, which is actually a little expected.

So, off comes all the things we don't need, including push bars, dog cage, siren, equipment shelf, etc.







Once we got the junk out, it was time to strip out the interior. Not only is it not needed for racing, most of it is not allowed for safety reasons.

While stripping the interior, found this hidden little GPS tracker. (Guess SJCO doesn't trust their deputies. LOL) I emailed the fleet manger and traded him the GPS device for the car's complete service history.



More interior strip



windows out



Ever wonder what guys who defuse bombs feel like? Spend an afternoon removing air bags.





We needed to leave the seat controls. (You'll see why later.)


Here she is, nice and empty finally. (Took a lot longer than expected, but inexperience slowed me down. Next time I could strip her out in a day.)




Along the way, it was time to do a little maintenance. Not really in order, but she's had new plugs put in. (Kind of a waste the plugs in her looked brand new.) New belt, tranny fluid, rear diff service, oil. We also swapped the stock tranny pan for a Dorman aftermarket with a bung welded in for a plug and quick fluid changes.

The next step was to pull the dash in preparation for a cage instal. Special thanks to @Davidzq who turned me on to all the locations for the screws, nuts and bolts. Dash actually came out fast. Although you could get away with doing it yourself, it really is much easier with another guy, or in my case, 2.




After separating the plastic, we put the metal support cage back in.
[img]https://i.imgur.com/hoT9KDz.jpg[/img]
_________________________
2011 P7B Former San Joaquin Co Dog Car. Current 24 Hours of Lemons Race Car. 132,000+ miles, 1500+ race track miles, 7500+ idle hours.

Fully gutted, roll cage, OMP Race Seat, 5 point harness, 3.73, Detroit Tru-Trac, Marty Tune, J-Mod by 88GrandMarq, CHE rear control arms and watts link, ARP watts link stud, Ridetech coilovers, ADTR sway bars, custom sway bar end links, Carbotech brake pads, 245/40/18 Falken RT615K+ tires on 18x8 Mustang wheels, Derale trans and PS Cooler.

May 2021 POTM.

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#4096444 - 02/13/21 06:09 PM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: Traffic22]
Traffic22 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 185
Loc: CA
You want an interesting adventure, try driving a stripped out CV 150 miles on a 40 degree morning. That is what I had to do to get it to the cage builder.

This is when the cage first went in, and we test fitted some padding. You can also see our race seat, and fire system.



But, the cage was surface rusting fast. While we're certainly not primadonnas or even care much about how we look, having rust rub off on us every time we got in an out of the car got old. Not only that, but let's face it, rust never takes a day off.

So time to stipe her clean again and go to work with the primer.





You'll also notice, at this point, half of what was left of the dash was cut off and removed, as it really wasn't needed anymore.


And our seat bracket, mounted on the OEM seat tracks. (Which is why we had to keep our power seat controls.)


More rust protection.



Now it was time to put her all back together, and install some gauges to keep an eye on things while racing.





One of the requirement of Lemons is a kill switch in reach of both the driver and safety officials. The switch has to kill not only the power to the car, but the engine at 2500+ RPM.

Because of the weird coil on plug system, this was not as easy as just interrupting a coil wire. Special thanks to @Davidzq again for his help with this. He helped us find the right wires to cut, and all works as it should.



So every Lemon's car has to have a theme. There are a bunch of guys running CV's in Lemons with some great themes. One of the teams helping us prepare is the Queen Victoria. (A ship themed CV) Another team, Clown Vic, has a....you guessed it, Clown theme.

We decided to go with a Chalk Board theme. We painted the car in Chalkboard paint so other racers could write on it with chalk. (I know we're opening ourselves up to penis drawings and what not, but hey, it's supposed to be fun.

Time to prep and paint. (Disclaimer...I am not a body and paint guy. Also, this car is going to likely get hammered from time to time (rubbing is racing) so no booth jobs here. Driveway and rattle can work.

Hand sanded with 250 grit. (FYI, removing the foil backed stripes SJCO put on took 2 full days with an eraser wheel and drill.) Insane how durable the decals were.




Second sanding, 400 grit.



Time to primer (yes, that is my fat butt priming the car.)



_________________________
2011 P7B Former San Joaquin Co Dog Car. Current 24 Hours of Lemons Race Car. 132,000+ miles, 1500+ race track miles, 7500+ idle hours.

Fully gutted, roll cage, OMP Race Seat, 5 point harness, 3.73, Detroit Tru-Trac, Marty Tune, J-Mod by 88GrandMarq, CHE rear control arms and watts link, ARP watts link stud, Ridetech coilovers, ADTR sway bars, custom sway bar end links, Carbotech brake pads, 245/40/18 Falken RT615K+ tires on 18x8 Mustang wheels, Derale trans and PS Cooler.

May 2021 POTM.

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#4096446 - 02/13/21 06:10 PM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: Traffic22]
Traffic22 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 185
Loc: CA
Finally time to get the Chalkboard paint on.



Now that she's all prepared, we had to do some durability upgrades so she'll survive on the track. On a quick side note, endurance racing is about reliability, plus the Lemon's rules punish engine upgrades, and major suspension upgrades. At some point we know we'll have to tighten up the handling, but for now, we simply "upgraded" to replacement OEM struts up front, and new shocks out back. (I think a full ADTR handling package may be in the future, but for now, we'll run with OEM.

We do get unlimited brake upgrades, so we went with Raybestos R300 front rotors, rear rotors from Brake Performance (I had already ordered these before finding the R300s, we'll eventually switch to R300 all around.)

Pads are Carbotech RP2 up front and Xp10 out back.

Plus a home made brake ducting system, along with removed dust shields for better air flow.




Brake Duct




Race weekend in 04/02-04/03. Although Sonoma Raceway in April is not too warm, we suspect Thunder Hill in late may, and Button Willow in September will be a different story. With that in mind, we added a little driver venting.

Started with Polly windows.



Then added some NACA ducts and vent tubes.



And of course a driver's fan.


After 5 months of work, she's pretty much ready to go. We loaded her on a trailer last weekend and took her to Davis for an unofficial safety inspection. The head of safety for Lemons is also an amazing custom fabricator. He welded the cage and mounted our seat, so we knew we were good to go there. But, we wanted to make sure the rest of our safety items were good. (Kill switch, harness routing, etc.)

We also installed a Borla cat back, not pictured. I have to say, great fit and finish, much quieter than I expected.

That is my build. I want to thank everyone here for the great advice and posts. I could not have done it without all your direct advice and info I just found by searching.

My team and I are getting super excited to race in April. My goal is to live stream the race from in the car via you tube. I'll try to remember to post a link here.

Lastly, the great thing about a race car with an enormous trunk? You can fit all your crap in it to transport to the track. (Try that in a Miata LOL.)



And a final shot of her on the trailer....











Edited by Traffic22 (02/13/21 06:13 PM)
_________________________
2011 P7B Former San Joaquin Co Dog Car. Current 24 Hours of Lemons Race Car. 132,000+ miles, 1500+ race track miles, 7500+ idle hours.

Fully gutted, roll cage, OMP Race Seat, 5 point harness, 3.73, Detroit Tru-Trac, Marty Tune, J-Mod by 88GrandMarq, CHE rear control arms and watts link, ARP watts link stud, Ridetech coilovers, ADTR sway bars, custom sway bar end links, Carbotech brake pads, 245/40/18 Falken RT615K+ tires on 18x8 Mustang wheels, Derale trans and PS Cooler.

May 2021 POTM.

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#4096810 - 02/15/21 02:24 PM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: Traffic22]
a_d_a_m Online   drunk

3 Orange Whips
Metroplectic

Registered: 10/25/05
Posts: 28116
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Nice ride.

I'm running the R300s on my Marauder (albeit with the Vette calipers/GT500 rotors on the front) and find that they're quiet yet hang in there pretty good. I ran the car on a road course and was rather impressed.
_________________________

'91 LTD Country Squire (POTM Mar. '19) | '03 Marauder (POTM Nov. '10, Jul. '20) | 2010 P7B (POTM Feb. '21)
formerly: '02 MGM, '04 MGM, '04 MGM v2.0, '04 MM, '07 P71 (POTM Feb. '18), '04 CVLX (POTM Jun. '19 and the best car ever), '03 SAP P71

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#4097060 - 02/16/21 05:16 PM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: Traffic22]
GRMN_CV Offline
n00b

Registered: 12/07/20
Posts: 33
Loc: Germany
24 Hours of lemons. Really think this is awesome event. Would have expected a kinda more... hm "flashy" paintjob grin

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#4098942 - 02/24/21 09:11 PM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: a_d_a_m]
Traffic22 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 185
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By a_d_a_m
Nice ride.

I'm running the R300s on my Marauder (albeit with the Vette calipers/GT500 rotors on the front) and find that they're quiet yet hang in there pretty good. I ran the car on a road course and was rather impressed.


Thanks for the info about the R300s. Really the only area of the car we're a little concerned about is the brakes holding up. Big heavy cars generate a lot of heat.

I think we have the right pads (based on a recommendation from another Lemons Team.) and I am confident in the rotors. I know we have the right fluid (Motul 660) but I am a little worried about the Calipers. Not so much the actual stopping power, but the heat and cooking/melting the seals.

I found a set of NOS Motorcraft calipers on eBay that were a pretty fair deal, so we're bringing a full set just in case. If the OEM Calipers prove to be an issue, we'll have to bite the bullet and go Willwood.
_________________________
2011 P7B Former San Joaquin Co Dog Car. Current 24 Hours of Lemons Race Car. 132,000+ miles, 1500+ race track miles, 7500+ idle hours.

Fully gutted, roll cage, OMP Race Seat, 5 point harness, 3.73, Detroit Tru-Trac, Marty Tune, J-Mod by 88GrandMarq, CHE rear control arms and watts link, ARP watts link stud, Ridetech coilovers, ADTR sway bars, custom sway bar end links, Carbotech brake pads, 245/40/18 Falken RT615K+ tires on 18x8 Mustang wheels, Derale trans and PS Cooler.

May 2021 POTM.

Top
#4098944 - 02/24/21 09:13 PM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: GRMN_CV]
Traffic22 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 185
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By GRMN_CV
24 Hours of lemons. Really think this is awesome event. Would have expected a kinda more... hm "flashy" paintjob grin


As a group, we're pretty decent with a wrench, not so much with a rattle can. I know what you're driving at, there are some pretty crazy/cool themes in Lemons.
_________________________
2011 P7B Former San Joaquin Co Dog Car. Current 24 Hours of Lemons Race Car. 132,000+ miles, 1500+ race track miles, 7500+ idle hours.

Fully gutted, roll cage, OMP Race Seat, 5 point harness, 3.73, Detroit Tru-Trac, Marty Tune, J-Mod by 88GrandMarq, CHE rear control arms and watts link, ARP watts link stud, Ridetech coilovers, ADTR sway bars, custom sway bar end links, Carbotech brake pads, 245/40/18 Falken RT615K+ tires on 18x8 Mustang wheels, Derale trans and PS Cooler.

May 2021 POTM.

Top
#4098986 - 02/25/21 06:41 AM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: Traffic22]
Old_Guy_Stu Online   drunk

Over the Hill

Registered: 04/28/19
Posts: 2795
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Since you used chalkboard paint, you can have a new theme for every race. Just bring chalk, or leave some out in the pits and let your competitors decorate it. Of course, there's a 90% or better chance you'd end up driving the dickmobile.
_________________________

1988 CVLX Formal Roof (Love Boat) POTM July 2019, Aug 2020, & Oct 2021, 58K
E-code lights w/ relays, LEDs w/ switchbacks, 15x8 Ansen slots w/ 255/60 BFG's, Kenwood stereo, various hacks.
This, of course, was merely the semi-delirious notion of a fever-patient, but I remember that it struck me at the time as being eminently practical and feasible.

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#4099076 - 02/25/21 02:18 PM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: Old_Guy_Stu]
bluejay_32 Offline
Grand Poobah

Registered: 08/28/16
Posts: 10223
Loc: wny
Originally Posted By Old_Guy_Stu
Of course, there's a 90% or better chance you'd end up driving the dickmobile.

What are they, 10? I never saw the humour in drawing dicks on things.
_________________________
2008 Grand Marquis - bought 8/5/21 with a lot of help from Dmblanch - 90,312 mi POTM November 2021 slug
2008 Grand Marquis - bought 7/29/16 - 60,210 mi POTM - February 2019 joy POTM July 2021 by default drug



Originally Posted By Rob Gordon
NOW GET YOUR PATCHOULI STINK - OUTTA MY STORE! MOVE IT, LARD-ASS!

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#4099180 - 02/25/21 08:47 PM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: Traffic22]
Old_Guy_Stu Online   drunk

Over the Hill

Registered: 04/28/19
Posts: 2795
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Congratulations, you're a 10 percenter!
_________________________

1988 CVLX Formal Roof (Love Boat) POTM July 2019, Aug 2020, & Oct 2021, 58K
E-code lights w/ relays, LEDs w/ switchbacks, 15x8 Ansen slots w/ 255/60 BFG's, Kenwood stereo, various hacks.
This, of course, was merely the semi-delirious notion of a fever-patient, but I remember that it struck me at the time as being eminently practical and feasible.

Top
#4101004 - 03/08/21 11:16 AM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: Old_Guy_Stu]
Traffic22 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 185
Loc: CA
Yep, we have a big bucket of chalk and a sign inviting people to “decorate” the car. We fully expect the 12 year old will come out in all the other teams. We have an over/under pool going on our team for the total number of penises drawn on the car. It’ll be a dickmobile for sure.
_________________________
2011 P7B Former San Joaquin Co Dog Car. Current 24 Hours of Lemons Race Car. 132,000+ miles, 1500+ race track miles, 7500+ idle hours.

Fully gutted, roll cage, OMP Race Seat, 5 point harness, 3.73, Detroit Tru-Trac, Marty Tune, J-Mod by 88GrandMarq, CHE rear control arms and watts link, ARP watts link stud, Ridetech coilovers, ADTR sway bars, custom sway bar end links, Carbotech brake pads, 245/40/18 Falken RT615K+ tires on 18x8 Mustang wheels, Derale trans and PS Cooler.

May 2021 POTM.

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#4103784 - 04/02/21 12:46 PM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: Traffic22]
dthomas Offline
Stranger

Registered: 02/28/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Vermont, USA
Always wanted to do this. Thanks for the pics, inspiring. Good luck this weekend!
_________________________
2003 MGM Limited - "Grumpy Limo" , Spruce Green
145k, Borla cat-back, JLT intake w/80MM MAF, 70MM TB, SCT tune from Mo, rear Marauder sway bar, Stoptech brakes w/ Hawk pads, lots of love in general maintenance...but 2.73s. (sigh)

2019 Ford Explorer XLT - "Big Blue". Kid carrier.
Mods: It's uh, vacuumed....occasionally.

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#4110250 - 05/23/21 11:34 PM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: Traffic22]
Traffic22 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 185
Loc: CA
Well, it has been a busy 2 months since our race at Sonoma. I think I posted elsewhere, but we far exceeded our own expectations, finishing 50 out of 132 overall, and 21 out of 62 in our class.

I want to thank everyone who voted for our car for POTM, I’m extremely honored.

Sonoma took a toll on the old girl. We had almost as much ATF on the trailer as we did in the PS reservoir when we got home. Initially it appeared to be coming from the high pressure line, so I replaced it. Unfortunately that did not resolve the issue, as I found fluid on the bottom of the pump, and running down the lines. A replacement PS pump has fixed the issue thankfully.

We also took advantage of 88GrandMarq’s expertise and shipped off our valve body for a rebuild, some stronger components and a J-Mod. At the same time we ditched the stock trans cooler and upgraded to a massive Derale cooler, along with a change over to Mecon V full synthetic. These changes work so well, under normal driving conditions we have a hard time getting up to normal operating temp.

I was able to swing a few dollars for some “cheaty” suspension upgrades. We had a cracked sway bar mount, so that was the perfect excuse to upgrade the front and rear sway bars. At the same time, I did the upper/lower rear control arms and Watts link.

Oh, and I was actually able to get the car weighed. (With a real 4 corner race scale) 3838 total, 56/44. 3838 may seem like it’s still heavy considering it’s stripped out, but keep in mind our cage weighs about 160-175 pounds, our fire system is another 30-40, and we still have the base with motor for the driver’s seat. (Our race seat is adjustable, because we welded a bracket to the OEM seat mechanism) I’d like to find a way to lose about 140-150 lbs, as much from the front as possible, but we’ll see.

One week till Thunderhill, wish us luck. For anyone who wants to watch the live stream of our race, we broadcast in car video all day Sat, and Sunday, from start of race till the end. (Just search YouTube for Traffic220 channel, and you’ll be able to see the race live.)

Some photos of the recent work:



We reorganized our dash a bit to put the radio in easier reach, and changed the configuration on our OBD gauges.




Old leaky pump.


New sway bars





We consulted a variety of sources before deciding on control arms, ultimately we decided the CHE Performance arms were the best for endurance racing. (Best combination of improved handling, and durability for long track sessions.)



That’s it for now…Thunderhill 5/29 and 5/30.
_________________________
2011 P7B Former San Joaquin Co Dog Car. Current 24 Hours of Lemons Race Car. 132,000+ miles, 1500+ race track miles, 7500+ idle hours.

Fully gutted, roll cage, OMP Race Seat, 5 point harness, 3.73, Detroit Tru-Trac, Marty Tune, J-Mod by 88GrandMarq, CHE rear control arms and watts link, ARP watts link stud, Ridetech coilovers, ADTR sway bars, custom sway bar end links, Carbotech brake pads, 245/40/18 Falken RT615K+ tires on 18x8 Mustang wheels, Derale trans and PS Cooler.

May 2021 POTM.

Top
#4110268 - 05/24/21 07:03 AM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: Traffic22]
Old_Guy_Stu Online   drunk

Over the Hill

Registered: 04/28/19
Posts: 2795
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Should turn a lot better with that monster rear bar. Good luck!
_________________________

1988 CVLX Formal Roof (Love Boat) POTM July 2019, Aug 2020, & Oct 2021, 58K
E-code lights w/ relays, LEDs w/ switchbacks, 15x8 Ansen slots w/ 255/60 BFG's, Kenwood stereo, various hacks.
This, of course, was merely the semi-delirious notion of a fever-patient, but I remember that it struck me at the time as being eminently practical and feasible.

Top
#4112406 - 06/14/21 12:19 AM Re: 24 Hours of Lemons Race Build [Re: Traffic22]
Traffic22 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 185
Loc: CA
Some of this information was posted int the drivetrain thread, where I’ve been soliciting (and receiving) a lot of help with a trans overheating situation.

We were a hot mess at Thunderhill in both the literal and figurative sense.

It as close to 100 degrees the entire time we races. Surface temp of our car as as high as 150, and it was easily 140 in the car.

We learned a lot of lessons.

1) You can’t have enough cooling measures in place for driver and car.
2) Things that are known to fail, will. Our fan module cooked itself.
3) Handling is much better, but new coilovers and rear shocks are a must.
4) We need new rear gears to keep up. The other Vic in the race was much faster than us.
5) We’re still too heavy…the girl is on a diet now, weight reduction is free and a high priority.

Since we’ve been back, lots of work going on. So some photos, cause let’s face it, that the best part….(Remember our theme is our car is a Chalkboard. All the decorations came from fellow racers.)

Little bit of race action.






Some close ups of the decorations.





And some of the work the last couple weeks….

Bye Bye Fan Module, hello direct wired fan




And the diet begins, every bit counts….

Water bottle and AC Condenser out.




Ford 4.6 “short belt” reroute. Works unexpectedly well once the correct pulley is installed.




More to come soon…lots and lots of parts on order. Stay tuned.
_________________________
2011 P7B Former San Joaquin Co Dog Car. Current 24 Hours of Lemons Race Car. 132,000+ miles, 1500+ race track miles, 7500+ idle hours.

Fully gutted, roll cage, OMP Race Seat, 5 point harness, 3.73, Detroit Tru-Trac, Marty Tune, J-Mod by 88GrandMarq, CHE rear control arms and watts link, ARP watts link stud, Ridetech coilovers, ADTR sway bars, custom sway bar end links, Carbotech brake pads, 245/40/18 Falken RT615K+ tires on 18x8 Mustang wheels, Derale trans and PS Cooler.

May 2021 POTM.

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