Monday, October 17, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the black flags

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

Ling Ling is sold.

On Saturday, I did one last minute fix to remove the thread chaser that was stuck in the rear hub (leftover from the ridiculous rear wheel bearing job in the Reno paddock):
From Pandamonium Racing

then I put Ling Ling on the new owners' trailer:
(I kept the license plate)

And they took her away. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad to see her go.

But on the bright side, she's destined for more LeMons glory with a different team and theme. You can follow her new escapades at, I know I will :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Work continues into the night

Two separate parts runs later, new halfshafts and wheel bearings. The passenger side one proves recalcitrant.

The sun's going down. While we've been beating on the halfshafts, a second alternator replacement appears to have fixed the charge issues - once again 14v to the battery, rather than the 7-11v we were seeing earlier. If we're lucky, and if we ever get the bearing out, the lights might work.

With a hell of a lot of help - including borrowed tools, slide hammer, bearing press, and the manager of the local autozone - they got the old bearing out and a new one in. Now we're left extracting the random taps, etc stuck in the hub. (There's a thread tap stuck in one of the lug stud holes.) And wrestling the second halfshaft in. Etc. One thing after another at this point. We'll see.

Update #2 - 3:23am:
Car back on track as of 1:30am. Ryan driving. It's down to Doug and me awake on the crew as of now, though I did just wake up Andy (next driver) to get him used to hardship.

Ryan got black flagged for passing under a yellow flag (huge tow truck parade just now) and got off with us bringing coffee to the judges, but just got flagged again. Damn.

Losses to date

- charging system, despite a rockstar quick alternator replacement
- possibly the clutch
- super busted rear halfshaft (now replaced)
- two batteries (courtesy of the busted charging system)

Also the CO alarm in the RV came on? Just one of those races.

It's hazy and windy out here and the action is set to go all night. We need to sort out the charging issues, though.


Hour and a half, and half a tank of gas into the race. We only nearly lost one wheel. Car is running well.

The Porsche crew beside us have been in three times so far with a fuel leak, out of a damaged filler vent line.

24 hours of reno fernley

At the end of the test night we got in some track time with the lights, and immediately discovered that something about the bright hella lights made ling ling's electrical system sad. The lights went dim and she eventually stalled.

The radiator fan motor cooked nice and toasty, and the battery had drained stone dead. We poked around and picked up parts, but didn't find a root cause.

The race is on now. We're totally fine until it gets dark....

Friday, May 13, 2011


This weekend's racing takes place in scenic reno-fernley, which is a track east of Reno in the high Nevada desert. We've brought just the one car, Ling Ling, and six drivers, plus crew, pandas, and kids.

This race is a true 24 hr, starting 10am Saturday and ending 10am Sunday. We're totally excited for the opportunity to play "truth in 24", and will take turns impersonating Steve McQueen.

(We watched McQueen's LeMans movie at the infineon race. It is perhaps the most laconic movie ever made, but provides important spiritual guidance: "Protect the machine. Drive fast. Try to win." This is almost all the dialog in the movie.)

Jinnah rented a big-ass RV, familiar to us from such previous movies as "GWS goes to Pittsburgh" gws-team RV trip. So we are travelling in extra style, ambulance+trailer+giant RV. This is nice, because the environment is a lot like burning man - desert, dust, no power, no running water. Upgrade, though - there's cellphone signal nowdays.

This race is going to be Ling Ling's last outing - she's running with a For Sale sign, since we're moving on after this to another car.

Today is a late start day - soon we go through tech inspection, then the test session starts at 2 and goes til 9, so we get a chance to play with our giant light rig.