Thursday, July 31, 2008

We're More Than Famous: Libre in the News

I think that we have the first ever 4000s quattro to make it onto the front page of a major news paper.

Here's front page coverage of the Libre and the Dorifto Dogs (3xx BMW): News & Observer (Dying Cars' Day in the Sun)

We also made it onto the front page of my favorite source of news:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Driver View Video: Spirited Driving

Ever wonder what it's like to drive a race car? Okay.... how about a $500 race car?

It turns out that the budget does not matter... it is still hardcore racing. Here's a 10 minute video from the cockpit of the Libre. The camera angles are a bit eratic but it does capture the sights and sounds of the race.

You'll notice a few great moments:
  • Exiting the pits;
  • Merging with traffic;
  • Getting passed by some fast cars (mostly german);
  • An AWESOME battle with the Tunachuckers ancient Volvo (which they drive off road at the end of the exchange);
  • Massive fishtailing after I let two wheels get into the grass.
Turn up the volume!

24 Hours of Lemons: Spirited Driving with the Quattro Libre from Greg Prospero on Vimeo.

Monday, July 28, 2008

We're Number 23!!!!

We finished the race 23rd overall and 9th in our division. (Our division was the most competitive. The "PW" class is the "Probably Will" finish.

Here are some of our stats:
Laps: 423 (0.96 miles per lap)
Best Lap Time: 1:14.58

And here's what we looked like at the end of the front straight. Nice lean!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Testing, testing!

Check out a few scenes from wednesday... finally taking it out on the track (err... road).

Go Fast Paint: Results

The car looks fantastic. I rolled on the white portions and sprayed (rattle can) the green and red and the numbers. Take a look:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Go Fast Paint: Roller and Rattle Can Technique

Okay... don't have enough time for a complete write up. Basically we sanded off a few layers of crud on the car, masked it and then applied several coats of acrylic paint using both a roller (for the white sections) and rattle cans for the rest. I think it looks great!

Thanks Absolute Automotive!

Having owned a few German cars (VW, BMW) I've grown to appreciate the benefits of having a trustworthy shop that specializes in my car's make. In the past I've relied on Absolute Automotive to routine maintenance - so I guess I had a bit of an in when I asked (begged?) for their help with a little problem that we were having with our Quattro. You see, the previous owner left us with a trunk full of parts including new control arm bushings for all four corners. Well it was easy enough to pop out the old ones which were completely rotted out! Then we tried to install the new one but couldn't - it turns out that we would need a press.

I visited Evan at Absolute Auto and asked if he could help a brother (comrade?) out. I offered him a rare Team Quattro Libre t-shirt. And he did it! Thanks Evan! For that you are now officially a sponsor! (That's a good thing.)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Work Weekend Update

We've accomplished a lot over the past two weekends. Most of the work has been focused on:
  • reducing weight;
  • fixing suspension;
  • improving braking;
  • and installing musical horns.
The two pictures in this post show our five horn arrangement. The second picture shows the "arming" switch in the cockpit between the window controls.

These are old school horns. We will fire them off every time we pass another car. Basically never.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

DIY Cooling Suit (Step 1)

Most of the South East is too hot and muggy to support human life during the summer, mosquitoes on the other hand do just fine. The bottom line is that we have little chance of surviving the 24 Hours of Lemons in Kershaw SC in late July without some kind of clever technological solution.

It would be great to buy one of the purpose built cooling suits the pros wear. But in the spirit of Lemons (and being broke anyway) we decided to build our own.

Here's the ingredient list that you'll need if you want to build your own:
  1. Atwood V500 Bilge Pump ($15)
  2. Radio Shack 12v power supply (w/ switch) ($7.99)
  3. Target 18 liter cooler ($19)
  4. 10' Silicone 1"OD hose ($7)
  5. 20' Silicone 3/8" OD hose ($7)
  6. Watts Quick Connect Straight Valve ($7)
  7. 2 Brass Nipples ($10) (to transition b/t the two hoses)
The picture below shows the basic design. Obviously the pump will be set in the base of the cooler. The driver will have the choice to either turning off the system at the power source or adjusting the flow using the straight valve.

I was concerned about the power of the pump. The pump will "push" water up to about 7'. If the flow returns down to the pump (i.e. a 7' vertical loop with the pump and exit at the base) the flow is adequately strong). Success!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

For Sale: Seats, Seat Belts

You will know us by our trail of parts...

Today we offer the following: Front seats and seat belts. They're in great condition and they're super comfortable. I kind of want to put them in my 330ci and every other car thereafter. The pictures below are of the passenger seat, the driver is in similar condition.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Workday: Gut, Roll Cage, Joy Ride

This Saturday we met to take out the interior and take measurements for the roll cage. We also took the car out for a quick (slow?) spin.

We lifted the car to take a look underneath. The car is definitely in "good-enough" condition. One issue had been concern about a rusted out exhaust line. It turns out that at some point the exhaust had fallen off its hanger and the left rear drive shaft wore THROUGH the exhaust! Fortunately this happened in the final few feet of the exhaust system after the last coupling... should be easy to replace.

In the mean time in-line 5 makes a nice V-8 like rumble (minus all of the V-8 torque).

Teammate Steve finally got to take it for a spin: "Awesome!... It really is slow."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Good news: We're On The Grid

Good news: I got the email last night from the race (dis)organizers. With their typical dry wit they informed us that we had been accepted:
Good news-I think. Your team has officially been ACCEPTED for LeMons South, on 26-27 July at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw SC.
Now we really need to get cracking on our to-do list. More later!

Monday, April 14, 2008

To Do

Here's our to-do list:
1. Fix exhaust leaks
2. replace control arm bushings (have)
3. Replace rotors/pads (have)
4. Replace brake servo (have)
5. Install power steering pump belt
6. Replace strut inserts
7. Replace springs (in transit)
8. Remove interior
9. Install racing seat
10. Install roll cage
11. New wheels/tires
12. Cucaracha horn (have)
13. Decorations

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Winter's Over, Springs are here...

The kind people of the AudiWorld 4000 forums have given our team a set of 4 used springs. They come with the caveat that they may be a bit slack because they are off of an 85 4000s. But I'm pretty sure that anything will be better than our completely limp set with more than 212k miles.

Now if only we could find some strut inserts!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Porsche 928 8008135 (Get it?)

Not my car. But it is classy enough to be a Lemons contender. I saw this parked outside of Bull McCabe's (downtown Durham) last night. The NCDMV may not get many jokes but they make the BEST license plates, remember this one recently mentioned on Jalopnik?

Nice work with the stickers too!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Brake Servo Unboxing

The brake servo arrived today. I bought it after posting a WTB message on AudiWorld Forums. I know that most unboxing posts on blogs are more oriented towards the iPhone crowd. So...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

New (to us) Brake Servo

One of the charming characteristics of our quattro is that it has real brake pedal feel. Hit the brakes and it seems like your actually pressing the pads with the ball of your right foot, and calf, and quads and every bit of weight you can muster. That's because there's NO power assist. The servo hisses at you every time you stab the brake pedal. It's almost like it's taunting you.

It turned out that it's a bit more difficult to find a lightly used servo that would fit our car. Eventually we posted a WTB message on the AudiWorld Forms And soon enough I got a reply from an audi fan that happened to have a working (used) model that he pulled from a coupe.

We should get it next week.

Roll Cage

We found a roll cage! We stumbled across it on in the for sale section. It turns out that somebody was parting out a 1984 4000 q that he had raced. We're hoping that we'll be able to drop it right in to our car - which will be good for us since we have minimal access to appropriate cutting/welding tools.

Here are some pics:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Car

The car is a 1984 Audi 4000s Quattro. It was owned by a mechanic at at West German Garage in Raleigh, NC. He listed the car on Craig's List for $500 and accepted $400. The car runs and included a nice array of spare parts in the trunk.

Buy Your Shirt!

Here's your chance to wear a piece of history. Click on the image (above) to visit our store and buy one of several designs printed on high quality American Apparel shirts.

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