Congratulations to the CHP team for a valiant effort at the 24 Hours of LeMons. Given the team's penchant for diagnostics we're guessing that the LT1 has been torn down and you know that a weak spring in the oil pump did the engine in.
There has been an LT1 Chevy in the LeMons race on the East Coast for a couple of years. Rubber Biscuit Racing runs a '94 cop car that got its initiation at the 24-hour event in Detroit. After barely surviving that experience we competed at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC; the 183,000 miles on the LT1 finally caught up to us and three minutes before the end of the race a rod went through the pan and we had a dandy oil fire.
We had enough spare parts to put another engine together, so the Biscuitmobile went to Toledo for the 24-hour race. Our 4,000-lb sled was in the lead after two hours-then the engine exploded. This time there would be no rebuilding.
A donor motor kept us in the $500 bracket, and the team gathered in Tennessee to install yet another motor. Moonshine and Coors Light lubricated the process-the Biscuitmobile was again mobile and ready for action at Columbia Motorsports Park in the spring of '09.
After five laps the dreaded rod knock began-a quick and painful exit. Those of us who worked on the install were crushed, both literally and figuratively. Fortunately the organizers depreciated the Biscuitmobile to $1 so we had the resources to find a motor. Another engine swap and it's off to New Orleans for the race.
In New Orleans we had the pleasure of having our pit next to some guys with a Saturn. We raced with them in South Carolina. Like us, they were on motor number three. After Day 1 the Biscuitmobile had appointed itself well-8th place on the grid. I was in the car for the final laps on Saturday and felt some tranny slippage but we felt the car would make it through the Sunday session.
On Sunday I was again behind the wheel for the start and a group of six of us were well ahead of the pack. On about lap 10 I found Second for the sprint down the straight, but there was no Third-nor overdrive. After putting around the track like a "moving cone" I brought the car in and we called it a day.
Once again the organizers have depreciated the Biscuitmobile so we can do a clutch repair. We'll be at Columbia Motorsports Park in September!
Paul V. Troup
Thanks for sharing your LeMons experience and you're right, it was the oil pump that went south on us. Since we had plans to make The Buttonwillow Histrionics at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, we borrowed the original engine out of our Project F73 Camaro and tried our luck one more time. Our little 355ci powerplant survived, but this time we had overheating issues. No biggie, a sawzall to the front fascia brought in ample fresh air to the radiator and solved that problem. As of now, our future LeMons endeavors are on temporary hiatus, but when the budget is available and our team members can make it; we'll be back at it again!
One Size Doesn't Fit All
After reading your editorial in the October 2009 issue of Chevy High Performance, I'll relate a true story about a towing mishap that could have been avoided with some simple forethought. Back in the early 1980s, my friend decided that he wanted to trailer his Chevy to an out-of-state car show. To do this he borrowed one friend's pickup truck and a second friend's open trailer. While traveling on the interstate highway through the city, he hit a bump approaching an overpass. You can guess what happened next, as the jolt decoupled the trailer from the truck and the car and trailer went down an embankment. Fortunately both came to a stop upright, causing only minor front end damage to the car. Investigation showed that the coupling on the trailer was sized for a 2-inch diameter ball and the truck was equipped with a 1 3/4-inch diameter ball. A simple check for the compatibility of parts and the addition of safety chains on the old trailer could have prevented this accident.
North Stonington, CT