John Li

Finally got around to installing the new rear bumper cover on the Miata, replacing the cracked red original bumper that got damaged when the previous owner’s codriver accidentally put the car backwards into a jersey barrier. (BFG Rivals + standing water on the highway = lots of opposite lock to save the car from spinning.)

All of the body panels on the car that are plastic are now silver, and everything that is metal is still red. I’ve got several cans of silver plastidip and will try to integrate the silver with the red.

I also replaced all of the trunk plastics with pieces that haven’t been scratched to hell and back from toolboxes and jacks and jack stands rattling around in the trunk. Fresh trunk plastics don’t make the car go any faster, but I’m doing my best to restore the car from “absolute hooptie” to “hooptie.”

Progress on the Mustang continues. Part of the exhaust has been fabbed. Next step is the installation of the panhard bar and then the routing of the exhaust through the panhard bar. And, of course, to top it all off, subframe connectors. I should be getting the car back sometime next week…

Time to replace the rear bumper cover and the cracked rear tail light. I’ve never taken the rear bumper cover off before, so this is a new view for me…

I stopped by Shamrock to see how things were going on the Mustang. Outside the shop was this wonderful example of the first generation Ford Galaxie, in a sweet two tone color combination of pink and rose. I like it.

Once again, I’m at the Detroit Grand Prix with DRSCCA. I wasn’t as productive shooting photos as I was last year, but I think I got a few decent shots of SCCA corner workers. Today is Sunday, however, and I’m just enjoying myself. I’m sitting here waiting for the Sunday Indy Car race to start, where the cars are lining up in grid behind pace car #2, after pace car #1 spun itself into the wall after Corner 2…

I have arrived at CMP and swapped the track tires and pads on the car. This will be an interesting weekend — I have never driven this track before, and it’s supposed to rain all weekend long. My primary goal is not to cripple the car here…

I’m running on four hours of sleep — perfect for an 11 hour drive? South Carolina, here I come.

Whelp, time is up. Justin and Jason helped me button up the last couple of tasks I had on the whiteboard last night. Bled the clutch, gave up on the exhaust, and attempted to start the car. The good news: with a little bit of coaxing (and some starting fluid), the V8 roared to life after one and a half years of hibernation. The bad news: the clutch won’t disengage, so either there’s still a shit ton of air in the clutch hydraulics or I messed up the internal clutch slave installation. It’s halfway through the month, and my next three weekends are booked, so it’s time to call in the heavy cavalry: Scottie and his merry band of professional (read: not hacks like me) wrenches will have to set things right.

I’m so close to driving the car out of the garage. Brakes are all done. I still need to bleed the clutch and install the exhaust. After some more fiddling, I decided that I need to ditch my H-pipe and go buy another one. I also discovered that my brake lights aren’t working, so add one more thing to the to-do list. But once the clutch is done, I could theoretically drive the car around the block with open headers and no brake lights. (I’m sure the neighbors would love me…)