FX, no FX

First off, the valves worked great! No gas spillage and fume issues this race. Did hear a soft honkey sound once, kinda like if your meep meep horn was buried. I’m thinking that was the valve “blowing off”. The car ran pretty well the whole event.

The exhaust has developed a leak again, the flex joint has failed yet again. The guy at exhaust system said he’ll look for a heavier duty one that has the stainless mesh on both inside and outside. What a PIA, I later thought maybe I should have them put in flanges so the flex joint could be bolted in & out. I’m confident enough in my welding that I could a weld a section, but not while its still in the vehicle.

The rally FX has also developed play in the driver side front wheel. When I had the bearings replaced last, Ken told me one side was a weak fit so I’m thinking that it’s loosening. I took in a spare hub assembly in to Ken with new bearing, seals, and ARP wheel studs to install.

I’m considering suspension, I want higher spring rate and better damping, the TRD/Koni setup in  the street FX works pretty well but it’s dropped a little which isn’t ideal for rally. Ground Control makes adjustable coilover sleeve kits to fit over your original struts, but the rear struts on the street FX are not from a FX. So I’m having a difficult time determining what kit will fit. I think the fronts of the FX are the same as later Corolla so a later Corolla set might fit. To be sure, I suppose I could order 2 sets, but that leaves me with an extra, possibly mismatched set. GC doesn’t sell front separate from rear sets. Boo.

Other things to work on, the rally FX is having increased starter problems, surprise surprise. They all do it seems. I bought parts at POP marine to see if I can solve the problem by putting in a secondary solenoid/relay triggered by the ignition key switch instead of the switch triggering the starter solenoid directly.

Anyway, the street FX has been parked out on the street the weekend while I was doing all this, and I went to move it back last night, only to be greeted by the whine of the starter and nothing else. WTF? Did the battery get weak already? Dang it, it’s too far away from garage to run the battery charger. Moved the rally FX over & connected up the jumper cables. Hmm, still no start. Let it charge for 15 minutes, still no start? The heck? I did my little hotwire starter motor from engine bay trick.

Bzzt! I saw a nice arc from the distributor to A/C hose. Weird, why did it develop this now? Tried cleaning the cap, still no go. Dug up an old cap & switched, nope. Switched some of the wires around. Still no ignition. F! It was now getting late. Decided I should get the car into the garage. This was going to be fun, the car is parked across the street. It is a hill and I was slightly uphill so I rolled it down to get it pointed at the driveway. Now I had to get it across the street and up the curb, by myself. I’d be in the middle of the street so I didn’t want to take too long. Decided to burn the starter motor and crank it in gear. It was enough to get it across the street and up the curb, but it sure didn’t smell happy. Sorry starter. I got it the rest of the way up the driveway using a big crowbar and bricks and wheel chocks. I wonder if they did something like this with the Easter Island moai.

Still a mystery why it won’t start and why it did it just sitting on street. I’m wondering if it ran out of gas? But the low gas light wasn’t coming on. Oh well, will take a look later.

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