We were cleaning out the used parts attic. Tossing out excess stock parts, some half dead used parts that seemed worth keeping at one time or another… Art is one of the fabricators here @ RRE and saw something in the pile of parts. A 4G muffler took shape as a torso. A clutch disc made a menacing Mohawk. Flywheels became shoulders while EVO X connecting rods and pistons provided arms. Everyone started chipping in with ideas.
A 1G differential repurposed as hips with 1G FWD axles providing legs and knees. EVO X resonators for shins and a piece of U bend for feet and stability were added. But Battle Bot was a bit wobbly with CV Joints and knees and hip sockets. So Art made some tendons out of a flywheel ring gear and some gears and muffler hangars for knee caps.
A good Battle Bot needs a weapon and a defensive shield of course. A dead MIVEC cam with a hydraulic lifter ball of sorts became his mace. A DSM valve cover provides a shield while the breast plate power core is a MIVEC cam pulley.
Art intentionally gave Battle Bot no face so that you would need to make your own mental image of his personality. Battle Bot currently protects the service office from all evil doers.
Being that it is Halloween today we shouldn’t have been totally surprised when we found a ninja in the office today. On the plus side… all the shop guys have been on their best behavior today.
This is for all the people that never really understood the “Powered By…” stickers. I never did either. Thus this sticker that was on my old 1990 GS Turbo. That was an empty stock muffler that was unconnected. The actual 3″ exhaust was a side exit just ahead of the rear tire.
So Juan Laguna had just picked up his 06 MR after laying down 580 whp on his new BBKB turbo on E-85 and was having a little too much fun when…
We are happy to announce a new Brake Specialist at RRE. His name is Bryce. You might think that it is weird that such a young guy could rise to such a prominent position but his size is what made us so interested in him. With lifts in such high demand at RRE, having a guy who can just walk in to a wheel well is priceless. Here we see Bryce working on Ed Nazarian’s RRE supported EVO IX. Ed Nazarian is that guy with a blog that has no pictures.
So we have this little relic from Mazda back in the 90′s. We are Suitcase Car specialists it turns out :-) I worked on this little car when I was working for Rod Millen and it has followed me arround ever since. Mostly it just sits but once a year or so I get to drag it out for a TV show appearance. I’ve been with this little car on the morning news, That’s Incredible, Inside Edition, Guiness World Records, Junkyard Wars and more.
The production company for The History Channel’s Arround the World in 80 Ways contacted me about using the Suitcase Car for their show. The premise for this episode is that the two guys arrive at the San Francisco airport and need instant transportation. One gets the Mazda Suitcase Car, the other gets a Yike Bike to drive off on.
They arranged to use the international terminal and luggage and passenger pickup area. With approval from the airport management, SFPD and TSA the filming went pretty smooth. I got a mini paid vacation to San Francisco and also to be an extra (Puzzled Guy #2 in the passenger loading zone). Something different to do other than answer e-mail and talk on the phone!
How is this for a cold air intake?
Extreme Drift @ Irwindale, April 2011… OK, who is this in the RRE shirt? You might have to look for a LONG time to notice the shirt ;-)
A nice video production by the guys at The Smoking Tire of Russ Taylor in his RRE Powered EVO X tearing up the track and an unsuspecting BMW as he learns to try to handle 460 whp of 4B11 power. Only one BMW was injured during the filming of this video on a NASA weekend.
There is a good reason we dont work on MR2s :-P God just never intended for that motor to be in that little hole!
Bryce has been tuning for a while here @ RRE. He is just now up on all the latest XML for Little Tikes, Fisher Price and Step-2 vehicles. Hit him up if you want to set up an appointment. Afternoons are out for naptime of course. Here is a video of him getting the last power out of the Cozy Coupe. The Dynapack lets him check part throttle and get the fuel trims all dialed in nicely.
“Hey mister.. why is my car missfiring?”
Must be those Stinger Brand plug wires you got there :-P
Lydia’s 85 Ford Crown Victoria was on its way to the crusher. It had led a long and productive life taking grandmas to the market and was continually needing one more $500 repair to this otherwise ok condition $500 car. Gas prices being at $4.00 a galon too didnt help.
After considerable thought, we held a raffle/pool on So Cal EVO to guess the time it would live at full throttle with no oil and no coolant on the dyno. Winning time 7 minutes and 29 seconds!
By Mitch McCullough
Mike Welch, my crew chief, is a master fabricator. A real body man. A regular McGyver. Maybe that was in the back of my mind. Or maybe I was frustrated at dealing with the big D. Or maybe I just like to show off – that’s what rallying is all about, after all.
Whatever it was, I had decided to take the jump flat out.
The physics of the situation seemed to have eluded me: Glen Helen Off-Road Vehicle Park just north of San Bernardino had been designed for off-road buggies and trucks, race cars with suspension travel measured in feet. I was sitting in a Mazda 323 GTX, a cheap econobox. That it had a turbo, four-wheel drive and a fantastic factory rally suspension was of no consequence on the big hump I was about to attack.
While walking around the course, I foolishly came to the conclusion that the big hump could be taken without braking. I mean, that’s what Rod Millen would do, right? Or am I thinking about Rod Hall? Anyway, the closed circuit took only five minutes or so to complete and it was a hoot. We’d be topped out in third gear on a straightaway, brake hard for a 180-degree turn, slide sideways through a 70-mph sweeper, then brake hard for the big hump. The rest of the course went considerably farther, but I would not be exploring the rest of it that day.
I sat in line, peering through my helmet as each rally car took its turn. The suspension of the first car got light as it went over the hump. “Whoa” went the crowd in the stands. The next car caught a little air, maybe six inches. “Yes!” shouted the crowd. As I watched, I thought: “Why are they braking so hard for that jump?” Beside me was co-driver Scott Webb, who had some sort of misplaced, irrational, idiotic faith in my driving abilities.
We pulled up to the start line. On cue, the starter draped a green flag over the front of the windshield and shouted, “Five! Four! Three! Two! One!” Then he yanked the flag up and quickly stepped back from the car. “Go!”
I stood on it and all four knobby Michelins twisted in the dirt. I grinded it on the upshift to second, but otherwise it was a good launch. I braked for the 180-degree turn and slid around a giant earth-moving tire. We slid to the outside as I accelerated out of the turn, but I stayed with it opening up the steering wheel to keep the speed coming on. As we approached the sweeper, I lifted, turned in and got back on the throttle. The car pivoted and slid around the corner, all four wheels slinging dirt. “This is going to be a good run,” I thought.
As we approached the jump, I lifted off the throttle where most people had been braking. We were doing about 65 mph. A cry crackled in my intercom: “Oh shit!” I stepped on the throttle again as we crested the top of the jump, thinking that would keep the nose up.
The little GTX jumped toward the heavens. Observers said there was at least 12 feet between the bottoms of the tires and Mother Earth. From inside the car, it seemed like the sky darkened as we crested the upper edge of the atmosphere. Our poorly designed rocket hit its apogee, then began the long ascent back to earth. When the ground loomed directly ahead I began to realize I may have overdriven just a bit. “Oh!” the crowded shouted. “What was he THINKING?”
It was a tremendous impact. The car landed on the front bumper. The radiator ripped in half, the hood crumpled, the bell housing cracked, the front wheels bent and most of the front clip was destroyed. Instead of going end over end, the car came to an abrupt halt and bounced back onto its wheels.
I looked to the right as the dust settled. “Are you okay?” “Ooof” was the only sound that came from the other seat. “Ooof.” Scott felt like he suddenly had a mouthful of sand. It was later determined that that was the enamel from all of his teeth. The emergency crew loaded us up on stretchers and carted us to the hospital where we spent a long, boring, humiliating day getting X-rays. We had stiff necks, I had bruised pride and Scott spent a fortune on dental work that year. Mike filmed the whole incident and later had the audacity to put it on his Web site, but the view from inside the car felt far more dramatic than the video portrays.
Mike quickly rebuilt the car in the Road/Race facility, replacing or repairing everything ahead of the windshield. We went on to win the California Rally Series championship that year. It was 1993 and we each earned Rookie of the Year titles. The following season, I drove off a 500-foot cliff in Arizona, rolling five times and stopping against a bush 100 feet down. The car looked destroyed, but we winched it to the top of the mountain and Mike had it back in the rally the following morning. We went on to win the 1994 SCCA PRO Rally Southern Pacific Division Championship in Open Class.
But that’s another story.
McCullough is a contributing correspondent to Field & Stream, AutoWeek, Sport Compact Car and European Car. He edits a car-buyer’s guide that can be seen at www.newcartestdrive.com. He now brakes for fly-overs.
Coming soon, the Co-Driver’s Version:
“It wasn’t my fault”