Earlier last week I replaced the rear struts and checked for any other Desert Storm Rally damage. The right rear strut was fully compressed with the strut piston jammed all the way to the bump stop. This makes taking the spring off very difficult to say the least. I managed to hammer a spring compressor on and grab at least 2 coils on each side. Even with the compressor maxed out, the top hat was still mashed on there pretty good. I took a shop census of what I should do about it and the final vote was “take it outside – stand on it – and torque off the nut… It’s going to kick!” Safety goggles and gloves would at least be a good idea here – maybe a face shield. As another safety item to mention: Never, never, NEVER take a top hat off a strut without a spring compressor. Spring goes flying – you eat it… At least with the compressor grabbing 2 coils the spring would only kick about 1-2″ with 200+ Lbs of force. I work the top bolt off slowly and psych myself out a couple times. Then I finally go full force and air gun the top bolt off. CLANG! The strut disassembles itself in a 6 foot radius of parts. The spring remained 80% compressed and it still had enough force to scatter 20 pounds of parts in every direction. Be careful in the shop fellas!
Saturday was overcast drizzle all the way out to Glen Helen. We arrived and were excited to see our sister team – Way Too Fast Racing – setting up for their first rallycross with the Neon.
The course was a little confusing at first and I gave Mike Malsed (the organizer) some crap about it. Once I took a long look at how they setup the “crossover / wall” to reverse the course I was still anxious about having more then 1 car run at the same time. With a regular course – if communications goes to hell – you don’t have a dangerous crossover situation. With a crossover course – if you tell the starter “hold the start” and he hears “go ahead and start” – you have the potential for cars to go into each other. Matchbox racing style.
The fairly tight layout was great and had a great flow to it in both directions. It turned out to be one of Mike’s best designs. Probably because it was a rallycross where the FWD cars can shine. The rally 2WD group had the top times of the day. 1st overall was Mark Anton in his uncatchable 250HP Sentra SE-R Vspec. 2nd was myself in the 130HP overweight Rally Neon. Third was Bill Holmes, 12 seconds back in his monster open class desert truck. The Way Too Fast kids improved on their times all day while dealing with a burning power steering reservoir. Read more about that here. We had a great time and it was a good shakedown for Rim of the World – in two weeks!