Back to Brakesics
While the 460 start was a big morale boost for the team, there was another big accomplishment very recently that made everyone quite relieved: Brakes!
The old single piston front calipers were pretty decent, by 1970's consumer standards. Folks used to driving 5000+ pound barges powered by fire-breathing and 100 octane leaded fuel burning torque monsters, stopped by Victorian-era technology drum brakes, were absolutely bowled over by these fancy new DISC brake thingies. Of course, with the new national 55mph speed limit and engines wheezing out less than half a horsepower per cubic inch, few actually required the stopping power provided by the brand new binders.
We, however, pushed way past the capabilities of the OEM LTD Landau brakes and required something better. Like, say, the calipers from a 2005 Mustang GT. Of course, these brakes don't just bolt on. Adaptors were required to mount the calipers.
The mounting brakets for the calipers had to be modified slightly, too; the lower mounting hole was welded over and redrilled in a slightly different location, and some grinding was needed for them to fit the LTD Landau's spindles properly. But with these simple mods, plus the upper mounting hole adptor bracket, we had a winning combination.
A new master cylinder was fitted, new lines run, and after some bleeding, the brake system was pronounced, "Good Enuf for LeMons!"
Since the new 460 lump outweighed the original 400M by a good 60 pounds (right where you don't want it- over the front axle) we wanted to whip a little Colin Chapman on the Landau's arse. So, the stock 460 intake manifold was boat-anchored, and a fancy, new, and barely-within-LeMons-budget aluminum Weiand bolted on.
We're hoping the "STEALTH" of this decidedly unstealthy trick manifold allows us to fly under the cheatonium radar of the LeMons judges. Swapping manifolds shed 40 pounds by the postal scale I used to compare the weights of the manifolds.
We also worked some magic on the front of the car:
LeMons rules require a front bumper and "OEM crash strutures", but we received a waiver from LeMons grand high poobah Jay Lamm to jettison the LTD's front bumper. He declared the Landau a "battering ram" and actually rather encouraged us to reduce the car's mass and demolition derby capabilities. So, the 150 pound front bumper made way for this 20 pound custom-made air dam. As an added bonus, we incorporated brake cooling ducts (3.5" x 10" heating outlets from Home Depot) and badarse-looking mesh grillework (Brian's old dog crate, which also saw use on the mightly Volvo Amazon) into the structure. It mounts to the LTD's frame using bits of the original bumper from Charlie the Amazon, paying additional tribute to the Tunachucker's past. We're very cognizant of our history and provenance and culture and stuff here at Tunachucker International Racing.
Speaking of the past, we also look toward the future here at TIR. And the children are our future, right? Well, with that awkward segway, meet the new Lil'lest Chucker, Brian's oldest son Nathaniel!
Whether removing lug nuts or testing the flow capabilities of our brake cooling ductwork, Nathaniel enjoys helping out and generally stays out of trouble in the garage, which is more than I can say about some members of our team.
He's also really talented with a broom and shovel and safe-T-dri kitty litter. He's truly the rising star of the team.
As you've seen from the previous post, the 460 is back to life. But, it wasn't as easy as just bolting in some cludged up motor mounts and plumbing in gas and electrons.
It leaked. Not the motor mounts or the washers, but the timing cover. I won't get into the horrifying engineering design of the 460's front cover and water pump and oil an and fuel pump interface, but sufficed to say the aluminum timing cover was heavily oxidized and didn't seal so well with a gasket.
So, off came the entire front of the engine.
The team slathered the cover and water pump with RTV.
And we put the whole thing back together. And prayed.
Brian's out in the garage right now putting the cooling system back together; soon we shall know if it actually holds water. Only 5 days till the race! Here's to good driving and reliable (we hope!) machinery!
Comment from: Brian [Visitor]
Pretty sure they are 2009 calipers - way better!
Just wait until Christopher shows up in the garage next year - the boy wouldn't be able to stay out of trouble in a padded room in a straight jacket.
02/26/12 @ 22:19
Awww, and here I thought those were super cool (no pun intended) cold air intake scoops for the engine mounted in the new front "bumper". You know, to wring out every last spare HP out of that beastly 460 V8. I didn't think they were brake cooling air ducts. That is somehow less satisfying, although I guess it is more practical as you don't want molten hot brakes that will catch on fire (again).
Shoot, and next weekend I'm going to the Jane's Addiction concert at the Palace with the g/f. I guess I won't be able to make the race then. I better see lots of cool videos of the Landau in action then in lieu of being there!!!
02/26/12 @ 23:34
The calipers were from a 2005-2009 Mustang GT
Cold air comes in through the hole in the hood!
02/27/12 @ 08:19
Nice... Holes in hood = super speed!!!
What are those things? They're SPEED HOLES!!! They make the car go faster!
Now all you need are STICKERZZZ!!! 'Cause everyone knows stickerzzzz make things go fast. And crooked stickerzzz make them go EVEN FASTER!
02/27/12 @ 12:08
"Whaling on the same old dilapidated crap can." - The "Official" Blog of the Tunachuckers Volvo Amazon LeMons racing team.
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