Post Pines damage assessment

We finally got up to look at the car properly and found some surprise causes to our vehicular issues.

You may recall (link) that we had to take the bumpy way through one stage and then almost immediately stopped to look for the flat tire we assumed we had based on the rhythmic thumping. Given we are lacking a stereo that potential cause was out, but to our surprise all four tires were holding air and we were able to continue to the finish, with the somewhat alarming thump accompanying us. Our assumption: prop shaft or axle shaft was bent and we’d deal with it later, although we did decide to slow down for the next two stages in the event that whatever was making that noise decided that enough was enough and it was parting company forthwith. So that was one issue we needed to look into.

Next, we noticed – when we could finally hear it – that there was a noticable clunk from the front end. Our assumption: ball joint had failed, but we have spares so whatever, we’ll fix it with the other stuff and the race was over so who cares.

The last issue was that we couldn’t rev the car to redline, and that seemed to be getting worse as the race went on. Our assumption: we’d destroyed yet another fuel pump or two, or maybe we had something in the filter or lines. Like bits of the inside of the gas tank, maybe, as that’s the original tank. However, it wasn’t stopping us so again, we figured we’d go a bit slower – like we had a choice, given the clunking and bumping that was going on – and deal with it later.

What we found out was that we aren’t very good at guessing.

The thumping noise was caused by the below. IMG_5670



So for anyone who doesn’t have this happen to them as part of a normal day of participating in their hobby, we 1) hit a rock with the inside of the rear passenger side wheel which caused it to bend 2) the bent piece started rubbing against the rear sub-frame which 3) caused a rhythmic thumping noise as the rim wore itself away. The tire, however, held air like a champ! And although the Speedline rim tore in one spot it also held together so we could finish Egan, run another 2 stages, then do two passes of Golton, plus the transits in between. Nice work, Speedline and Hankook! Sadly we only had 4 of the cool Speedline rims, so we either have to buy some or start swapping tires and rims…

The clunk from the front end was caused by a bad top hat bearing in the front suspension. That doesn’t photograph well but trust us, it is notchy as hell. We’ll order more and replace them on both sides plus clean up and lube the suspension. Not bad for a used suspension that has been in Pines twice plus Lanark and a rally sprint.


The revving issue seems to be related to fuel delivery so we weren’t too far off; pressure is good from both pumps at idle so we changed the filter – which was really quite dirty – and we’ll see how it goes when we can get it back out on the road. No, there is no picture of a dirty fuel filter. More testing to be done here.

However, before we do that we have to figure out the things that were NOT on our list. One is to see what’s going on with the power steering. We thought the belt was loose so we tightened it up but at full lock the pulley actually stops, which also stops the alternator belt and creates that horrible screech. It was worse before we tightened the belt but…what is causing this? Power steering pump going is our guess, but tell us what you think because we’re searching the web for a solution… See video below for what this looks like.

We also have a random ‘looks like we pounded the exhaust into the rear diff, or maybe it was a rock’ picture for you. This isn’t an issue, just a thing we saw.

IMG_5669 IMG_5667

Overall though the car survived pretty well, so on top of the above we need to lube the brakes and change the oil to get ready for the Lanark Rally Sprint. Exciting! Before the full Lanark rally we’ll look at swapping in the 4 bolt rear end we got last fall and modding the console. That will undoubtedly make for some swearing.

Until next time…


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