What's all this about?
Armed with a team of barbeque and
automotive experts and a 1989 Saab 900
purchased for $400, Team Carbeque is a
unique racing team determined complete the 24 hours
of LeMons... all while making barbeque under the hood.
Find out more: >> Click here to read our mission statement
Smashy Bashy Weldy Painty Racey
Now with less distracting punctuation
Posted by Adam Gorilla on August 2, 2015, 9:15 pm CST
Because of a problem in the code, I cant use apostrophes. Get over it. Moving on.
Its been a little while since things got crunchy in Jersey, and now that theres a race coming up, it seemed like a good idea to fix it. Again. This time we resorted to slightly more conventional methods, although that is not to say using a dump truck to sit on a SAAB isnt conventional. First we plucked the motor out. Notice the word pluck. See how easy it sounds? Yea, thats how good we are at pulling SAAB 900 drivetrains. You can see below how far over the front of the car was rearranged, and the angle that positioned the drivetrain. The stage left engine mount was totally rocked, so we are going to see about putting a solid one in, since we manage to break it every race.
Second, we measured our angles to acheive relative squareness and used a hydraulic ram to squish the frontal zone back into position. Because of the way the metal stretched, the ram had to extend the front subframe a good deal past where it was stock, just to get it to return to shape in the right place. It was a symphony of crackling metal and rust.
The new radiator support fits! The bearded one is Josh, btw. He has signed on for this wackyness for Thompson. Apparently because racecar.
Then we slow cooked some meat because we were having addiction fits. The image below is purely illustration. We have no idea whos kid this is.
With everything looking like it was back to where it should be horizontally, it was time to cure the vertical misalignment as well. For this, large flying hammerkicks were applied liberally, and before you knew it, the shape was more or less where we wanted it.
The end result was a cracked and bruised frame that is now sitting about where it should be. The next step was to weld in a new corner to replace the gnarliest of the mangled metal with something from a donor car, because when youre a SAAB guy that comes across a car getting junked, sometimes its ok to sawzall the corner off and keep it...just in case. Luckily we knew that guy.
Everything we take off this corner is covered in BBQ grease...
We took a deep breath and started welding in additional reinforcement plates, and pieced together what we had off of the other car to create one working Carbeque.
Gotta be happy with the way it turned out, lightyears better than when we got the car and probably even stronger than stock now. With only a little massaging, the engine found its home again in the freshly rattlecanned engine bay. It was degreased this time, so maybe the paint will stick. Probably not, but at least we look like pros for this short time.
This weekend was spent putting the rest back together, including painting and installing the new radiator support and Nissens radiator that got totally destroyed in Jersey. The markings came off all the main wiring harness connections, so it was just kind of assumed where all the plugs went. The only two that remained were fuel injector number 1 and 3. 2 logically had to be somewhere in between, and 4 was most likely the long one. The blue connector probably went to the coolant temp sensor, and the gray one to idle air control. The long one with a separate harness...probably intake air temperature, and we guessed on the two misc three prong plugs.
With all the fluids in and the harness plugged in, it was time to give it a go. Ignition on, fuel pump primed. Ok good signs so far. Here we go.....crank crank crank crank crank crank crank crank crank. Hm..nope, try again. Crank crank crank crank crank crank crank crank crank crank crank crank crank crank crank. OK lets switch those two plugs for the MAP sensor and CPS. Crank crank crank Bam! Started right up! Huzzah, we have a running car again. Now we have 3 days to install the BBQ box, put new aero on, get an alignment (we replaced a good portion of the front end afterall), get the spares parts and spare ribs together, and go racing!
The race will be August 7-8-9 at Thompson Motorsports Park, a brand new road course that opened this spring. If you can make it out, definitely give it a try. Its in a beautiful area, and we are going to win this one for sure!!
Do you smell that?
Posted by A massive Ape on July 4, 2015, 11:16 am CST
Smells like BBQ...what? That other smell? Best not to ask about that OTHER smell. BBQ is the important p....nevermind.
Triumph and Tragedy
Is this the end?
Posted by Captain A on December 7, 2014, 10:00 pm CST
Breathe in, get ready...it's the first race of the 2014 season, and paired with the powerhouse of crapbox racing eEuroparts.com it was time to DOMINATE! We were headed to New Jersey Motorsports Park, specifically Thunderbolt raceway, which is a fast, semi flat, treeless race course in the NICE part of Jersey. OK well, I suppose the only thing that made these few acres 'nice' was the lask of seething projects. Luckily, we got to pass some on the way to the hotel, so the experience was genuinely realistic.
Usually I say something like, this wasn't just any normal race...but no race is a normal race. Every single one (look through the backlogs) was a unique challenge with supremely memorable...uh...memories. right.... Well, this race the CBQ was graced with the privalege to race with some of the coolest guys you can meet, Full Nelson racing.
Full Nelson Racing's brilliant SAAB 96, powered by a supercharged and water injected Geo Metro three cylinder engine, is a sight to behold. It's a little brown lump of win that seems both completely unlikely and extremely rare. When you stand next to it, you really know you are in the presence of something you've never seen before, and will probably never see again. This is what makes LeMons racing so ridiculously entertaining, and we were right at the bleeding edge of awesomeness. There were other cars too, but they didn't have hood mounted floating water injection pressure gauges. Science.
After tech and BS inspections, the cars were classed in B and C respectively. Class A is reserved for the fastest cars, usually BMW's and Volvo's that can build up some very high speeds. Class C is where the weird, kooky, and often much slower cars are relegated. Class C is everyone's favorite class, as it often has the most obscure showing of race cars. It is also the one with the most prize money, as encouragement from The 24 Hours of LeMons to build a C Class car. The Full Nelson 96 fits in perfectly.
The Q was being driven by its owner, Me, Adam from eEuroparts cataloging, as well as Zak from customer service, My dad Dan, and Alan Camyre from the west coast division. The Full Nelson 96 was being driven by it's owner Eric Nelson, Jordan Pagano from product development, Kip Moncrief, Josh Meinke, and SAAB Fanatic Bruce Turk.
We enrolled in the Friday test day to work on the CBQ's freshly installed Trionic system tune, and to scrub the tires. The new Bilstein HD's transformed the handling of the car. The 96 had a few drivers that had never driven the car before, so it's test session was primarily for familiarization with the interesting handling and power dynamics of the car. Friday closed without much event, and a slightly rich but overall solid tune for the 900. The 96 was having slight issues with blowing the fuse for the water injection pump, but they were resolved when a wire was found to be pinching in a door hinge and shorting.
Saturday morning. 10AM. Both cars roll out of our space to take the green flag, coasting in first gear through the paddock past several cars that suffered failures on Friday and were still busy working to get out on track. When the flag fell, everything seemed right. All the hard work was paying off. Both engines revved happily to (and past) the redline, and after we settled into the flow of navigating traffic. Cars like the 'Sorry for Party Racing' Firebird and the fox body Mustang of the 'Near Orbital Space Monkeys' were fast. Very fast. When they appeared in our mirrors, we got out of the way. This is endurance racing after all, and we had 14 hours of racing still to do. Other cars, like the Super Grover Rover P6B 3500 and the 3-Pedal Mafia Ford Cortina were easy work for us, arriving in front and disappearing in our mirrors in only a matter of seconds.
About an hour in, the front splitter on the 'Q started to rattle and shake as the result of a jarring off-track excursion in practice while learning the track (Zak). The hardware that held it on was weakened, and eventually broke from the stress of being on track. After a few laps it was clear something was very wrong, and the car pulled in to yank off the stricken bodywork. Only losing 5 or 6 laps, we put the car back out and started climbing the ranks once again.
The 96 came off and went back on periodically to check the water injection system. Without it, the engine would overheat and melt. An ongoing problem with the brake master cylinder was getting worse, and caused the car to have very long pedal throw and extremely squishy feel. Regardless, it was surprising everyone except for it's owner due to is speed. It was a class C car, but definitely kept up with much of the higher classed competition. At some point, the always fabulous Soggy showed up to hang out with us, and cook bacon. Look at all of it. LOOK AT IT.
As the day went on, problems commonly associated with endurance racing cheap cars stayed few and far between. Both teams were able to relax as the laps ticked by. With 6 o'clock rapidly approaching, we came back to greet the cars after the day one checkered flag, only to see The Carbeque 900 in shambles. In the closing laps, an overzealous group of very fast cars threw caution to the wind while battling each other and our final driver got caught up in it. The Q was pushed wide and then tapped in the rear, causing a spin back on to the track to get summarily clobbered by passing traffic. The entire front subframe was very bent. Headlights shattered, hood mounts broken, front engine mount relocated to the left, and bumper dislocated by a good seven inches. The ribs cooking on the engine were…..still good actually. Quite good in fact, and served as a bittersweet dinner as we tried to pull together what had just happened. It seemed that it was all over at this point.
This wasn't the only accident of the day, just like New Hampshire, this race gained a reputation early with having an extremely aggressive field of drivers. Several teams spent Saturday night, like us, repairing their busted up race cars.
We tore all the dangling parts off the 900, took the hood off, and hooked it up to our tow rigs. One to anchor, one to pull, we gently pulled and yanked on the bent up car, which squealed, creaked, and cracked back into shape like a child complaining in a doctor's chair while getting his broken arm reset. A crowd gathered to witness the frame pulling, expecting some kind of accident. Fortunately we couldn't satisfy their lust for epic failure, and the straightening went exactly as planned. Special thanks to friend of eEuroparts (and Full Nelson Driver) Kip Moncrief who spearheaded the effort himself, he's not new to the process after running several high contact racing series in the past. Once completed, and after a brief test drive, we settled into the party that had erupted all around us. The 96 only needed a wheel bearing at the end of day one next to the brake master cylinder, and it was done quickly.
The dance music turned up, the spirits began to flow, and even after such an accident we had a great time. The entire paddock was a blend of flying sparks, whirling angle grinders, and the hilarious antics of alcohol fueled shenanigans.
Sunday morning came early, and at 8:15am the paddock was assigned a tongue lashing from series organizer Jay Lamm due to the high number of contact related incidents on Saturday. The 15 worst offending teams were called up and had their cars start the race, parked, engine off, in the penalty box for one full hour, effectively dropping them out of contention. We put our suits on and warmed the engines on our racecars.
Strapping in, someone noticed the radiator on the Q had an accident-related leak that didn't show up earlier. This caused us to be late for the morning green flag, and once again set us back early in the day. The 96, after having a new master cylinder put in overnight, felt much better. IE not as scary barreling into turn one at nearly 100mph, staring directly at the wall in front of you with no pedal feel at all.
Fuel stops all went as scheduled, and just as we like it, both cars kept circulating all day. Near the end of the race, the Full Nelson 96 pulled off track, sputtering out of fuel. The on-facility fuel pump had been drained over the course of the weekend so they had to run into town to fill a couple jugs shortly beforehand. They lost very little time and was able to get the car back out on track for the final checkered flag. The feeling was all kinds of epic. Both cars ran fantastically, and besides a serious accident (no one was hurt, the car took the brunt), we were able to rise above the tribulation and finish much higher than anyone could have anticipated. The historically fragile 900 transmission held together all weekend, the Red Line MT85 fluid worked fantastically.
The final standings went as follows. Team Carbeque: 8th place in class and 36th overall, while the Full Nelson SAAB 96 achieved an AMAZING podium finish, 3rd in class and 43rd overall out of over 160 total entries. Unfortunately the ribs couldn't cook all the way through because of all the new open space on the front of the car after the crash. This would be the Q's last race, and what a finale it was. The 96 will be back to die another day, until then stay tuned for coverage for all of our races right here on eEuroparts.com. Check out the complete photo gallery HERE.
Say goodbye to the historical Carbeque front valence, you will be missed.
2 Weeks Left, The Q Lives!
Posted by Adam1 on April 27, 2014, 8:25 pm CST
Sorry for lack of updates, putting the car back together has taken precedent, and it really shows! The car started after it's long surgery and is now driving. The engine is now controlled by Trionic 5, a SAAB developed self adapting ignition and fuel injection computer. Woohoo, the members are all getting their things together and we're about to go racin! This has been a LONG winter.
50 days left, The Carbeque reaches it's maximum state of entropy.
Posted by Adam1 on March 17, 2014, 10:14 pm CST
Nestling into it's new role of being the eEuroparts warehouse eyesore, The Carbeque has finished getting taken apart and has finally begun to go back together. The junkyard engine Soggy and I picked up a few races back went straight into the car, without having any work done to it. Only one race later it decided it would pull its best [insert oil disaster] and mess up anything it rolled over. This was especially bad after 16 or so hours at wide open throttle, where it would complete the victory tradition of emptying itself over some unlucky helpgiver's trailer. No More! The main seals have been done, the oil pump seal, head gasket, intake and exhaust seals, waterpump seal, oil filter housing seal, valve cover gasket.
So now is when it gets interesting. The used KYB shocks are getting traded for Bilsteins (which will be summarily painted white, have a KYB decal put on them, and dragged through some mud).
On top of that, the Bosch LH2.4 Jetronic fuel injection and distributor will be going to the eEuroparts.com swap meet. It will be replaced with SAAB Trionic 5 out of a free 9000CSE parts car that was getting junked. *DEEP BREATH* This fully electronic engine management system was way ahead of its time, being capable of increased power AND fuel mileage due to sequential fuel injection. The knock sensor has been replaced with a coil on plug ignition cassette that detects fuel ionization based on a weak current it sends across the spark plugs, sending info back to the ECU that can advance or retard ignition as it so pleases. It also takes the MAP and O2 sensors in consideration in its determination to provide most efficient and powerful running.
Other upgrades will include wider tires on the big red wheels previously reserved for road use only. They weigh as much as Saturn, so they were only considered AFTER Trionic was decided on, as unsprung weight is the worst think you can introduce to a race car. I still cringe about it. They are *so* heavy.
An exhaust system that doesn't blow directly onto the fuel tank is also going on. LeMons used to not care about exhaust systems that just exited under the car as long as it was behind the driver, but now they are strictly enforcing an entire exhaust system so that's about that. Spoil sports.
So it sounds like the car is getting some big upgrades, but in reality all these things just add uncertainty to a design that has been proven to run well and finish races. You should be excited, nobody knows what is going to happen in the next few weeks!