Monday, September 21, 2009

Motopark track day and Lappeenranta Midnight Cruising

We decided to go to a track day at Motopark with a couple Urho endurance racing teams to do some track driving. We were going to drive with both the race taxi and our "Urhon ajot" beetle. The engine of the beetle broke in the first event of the year after an hour. Pekka from the team KLR had promised to repair the engine before Motopark, but because the crankshaft was in two pieces it wasn't possible to repair the engine in time. The engine is being built at the moment, and Pekka already has a new crank. But anyways, back to the subject.
We left on saturday at about 8 towards lahti, from where Erno and Pete got temporary licence plates for the Race taxi. I drove the Golf with the gridgirls. The first stop was Pekka's garage at Kangasniemi, where we got the trailer. Erno continued with the Race Taxi to the track while we made a small roundtrip and got the trailer. They said it was raining inside the Race taxi? It might make a good greenhouse. During the trip we filled some holes in the wheelwells to make the water spray less in the cabin. We arrived to Motopark at approx. 13:30 hours. First we did was empty all the tools and spare parts from the Race taxi and headed to the race track. At this point we had driven it 270km (170mi).

The first thing at the track is to measure the sound level, which is metered as the car drives by. The limit had just changed to 95db and the race taxi made 105db passing the metering point, even though we had last week refilled the silencer with new sound deadening material. The clever racers we are, we headed to the dumpster at the track and found an old oil filter from a motorcycle. Adding the oil filter to the exhaust dropped the noise to 100db, so more was needed. Luckily we found another oil filter and adding it to the previous one dropped the noise to 94db. So track driving could begin.

I'll need to mention that the race taxi's sound after the wild exhaust modifications were more like a jet fighter than a race car. The exhaust back pressure was so high that we only got 0,4bar boost.
At the beginning it was quite wet, but it dried quite quickly. We had a fun time and gave a ride to a group having their bachelor party at the race track. Other Urho cars at the track were KG-Racing.

And KLR (their newest evolution doesn't even need any tires).

Also the Hyvinkää's group was there, unfortunately I didn't get any pictures
DWL was also at the event, but with other than Urho cars.

After the Motopark session we headed to Lappeenranta Midnight Cruising. We had to arrive at 18:00 so Erno had to jump back in time a bit with the Race Taxi ;).
We arrived just in time before the parking lot where the event was held was closed. There were many great looking cars there, and we found a nice place for the Race Taxi in a corner with many other VAG group cars. The event was well arranged and there were really a lot of great cars there ranging from off road cars to tricked out tuning cars. One car that really caught my eye was an 190 Mercedes benz that was really low and tuned with respect to the original nature of the car. Another nice car was a tiny VW Lupo just next to where we were.

After staying in the parking lot of Prisma all cars headed to an local gas station. There were loads of people by the road and we felt like stars when they all were loud and cheering for us (might be that it was the other way around, but I guess it depends on how you look at it). Hopefully the Jetta in front survived home after the steam show it had. I'll put pictures from the show as soon as I get them from somewhere.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Boxer speed day

We were drag racing at the boxer speed day. We arrived a bit late, and it had started to rain, but we still managed to get the prize for the fastest van.

The race taxi isn't really made for drag racing. The drive line isn't made for such stress, so we had to take it easy when leaving the line and shifting. The clutch overheats because of the stock position of the turbo, and even though we have made heat shields they don't seem to help. We'll have to move the turbo to the rear of the engine during the winter.

The day was a success. We did 30-40 acceleration runs and the car was still functioning after them. Every time we were at the drag strip we had two or more passengers.

Mitsubishi Evo 9 on the left lane. I guess we need more power. Link to the video.

A stock similar Transporter on the right lane. We gave a bit handicap to it, but couldn't catch up because of a shift miss from 2nd to 3rd. Link to the video.

A video from outside, looks as lively as from the inside. Link to the video.

Thanks to Jappe for the videos!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

VW Open, Car show and drag racing - Another broken engine

After the successful dyno day we attended the VW-Open. In addition to a car show you could take your car to the strip, so ofcourse we had to attend with the race taxi.

At the starting line. Everything was still good at this point.

Returning from the strip. Engine broken...

The sound from the engine is the same as the last engine damage. Probably a broken connecting rod bearing again. Felt bad that the engine only gave us one half run on the strip after the strong performance it had on the dyno.

Thanks to Ville Käki for the pictures!

Video of the beginning of the acceleration. Before the engine started making noise. Thanks to Jyri for filming!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Slugs dyno day

We got the new engine running in time for the annual Slugs Dyno day. Our club has since the beginning a couple years back had the highest horsepower, so we were hoping that everything would be in order with the new engine.

284hv/391Nm according to the Tuningworld dyno. Highest nubers of the day! The video is a bit longish because they needed several pulls to get a good result.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Race taxi on track. Ahvenisto season opening - Broken engine

Mika, Erno and helpers Harri ja Pete worked long hours the days before the event to get the car ready for the track. The work included making a new oil pan because the old one started leaking around the oil stick tube, and we also had to get working lights.

The race taxi being pulled to the track.

Race taxi and the service car. Finally at the track.

Erno took the first turn to drive. The car worked flawlessly for half an lap, after which it started to sputter. The water temp gauge read 130 degrees, so it was driven calmly back to the pits. At the pit it was noticed that the china made gauge was in metric for oil pressure, but the temperature read in imperial, so 130 degrees Fahrenheit wasn't that bad after all.

Mika continued to drive, and as soon as the engine got into boost it started to sputter. The day went mostly when trying to sort this out. Mika went to the track 4-5 times and drove approximately 10 laps with good and bad success. Sometimes the engine worked, but mostly not. The day was ended with an engine failure. The engine started making noise like the connecting rod bearings would have broken.

Even though the engine didn't function properly, the few friends that got a ride were really impressed how well it went on the track. The suspension also worked surprisingly well considering that we didn't get stiff enough springs for the front in time for this event.

Thanks for the on track photos to Toni Lari. More of his photos can be seen at:

Big thanks to all who helped! After the visit on the track we have a better picture of what to do next with the car. A couple weeks until the event at Artukainen street track in Turku!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Preparations before first race track event

Right after the car show Mika took an angle grinder and removed the front wheelarches. New ones were made by removing arches from another car, welding on a 50mm strip of steel and the new wheelarch was then pop riveted into place.

Widened side door hinge. It is 22mm wider than original to clear the center lug. We tested with just the new wheel that the side door had plenty of space, but the massive nut for the wheel wasn't taken into account. :)

The tool to tighten the wheel nuts. 75mm. Borrowed from Pekka.

A picture from under the car. We took the car to Erno's car lift so we could do some minor details under the car. We ended up spending a week there when we rerouted everything under the car. It was so uncomfortable doing it in our own garage, and getting the whole picture when the car was lifted up was enough to convince us of doing it again.

When the car was up, we decided also to add a bit more steering angle at maximum lock. ;)
Much time has also gone into going the car through one bolt at a time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

American Car Show 2009

A couple pictures from the car show.

A special thanks to everyone who visited us at the car show! We had a great time!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Adapters, wheels and reverse screens

We got all parts for the American car show by tuesday and the final assembly started so we could get the car ready for the show.

Changing the PCD from 5x112 to 1x0?. The adapters came from Tommi's billet.

Here's a shot of the wheels what they looked like before.

A picture of the lip after they were straightened. The end result looked like it was machined and brand new. They could be polished, but the end result wasn't evenly shiny and you could still see the deeper scratches. But you can't expect more from wheels that cost 30€ a piece.

The wheels were straightened by Amriff in Järvenpää, Finland.

Making the interior. The roof and dash screens have been installed and now it's turn for the rpm meter.

The screens and rear camera came from JJ-Tuonti. The reverse camera has nightvision, so you can see who is behind you even when it's dark.

Erno's friend Pete came to help us install the reverse camera and screens. Thanks for the help!

A better picture of the dash.

Washed outside. Our trailer had become too narrow during the winter, so we had to order transportation to the car show. Luckily Erno's neighbour came to the rescue with his truck.

At the Fair center, almost inside!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


We did a small photosession with the race taxi. We just got the skirts and bumpers painted black, so we wanted to see how it looks looked from a distance.

Looks nice. Square panda? The black skirts make the car look a bit like it's a bit higher off the ground than before. I guess we will just have to lower it more...

One week until it's ready. Two weeks until first test.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Battery mounted, midle seat row shoulder harness bar ready and wheels sent to be straightened

We made some progress on the car. We also noticed a new problem. One of our drivers thinks he can't reach the pedals with the current driving position. I guess we will have to get seat rails for the drivers seat so it can be adjusted...

The battery is mounted. The final position isn't the best with placement of weight in mind, but serviceability is good. The battery mounts will have to be showed at each scrutineering of the car, so it has to be easily viewed.

The mount for the middle seat row shoulder harness.

The wheels were sent to be straightened out by a tire company. We also got one set of centres painted black. When we got the straightness inspected on all wheels, we noticed by pure luck that one of the wheels was of an odd width. At this point we had of course assembled all wheels and taken them to storage. So we had to remeasure each wheel. There were four widths instead of the assumed three. The inner rings were 155mm, 185mm, 195mm and 205mm wide. There was only one wheel with the 185mm inner ring width.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Race Taxi's first drive

We drove the car out from the garage, so it wasn't that much. We are still missing the brakes and the car needs a lot of finishing work. Not it can be moved by driving in and out from the garage, so it's a big relief.

You have to have two people driving if you don't adjust the idle high. One presses the throttle in the engine compartment and the other "drives"

Today we got the clutch working, which was a quite big job because we moved the work cylinder. The mounting point for the battery is also almost complete.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Update since a long time, the race taxi got wheels...

A friend told me that a sales site has 18 pieces of 15" center lock wheels for a reasonable price, so I was going to buy them for our locosts. I found the adverticement and called the seller right away. I didn't have the time to read the ad, and found out that they were 16" that isn't legal in the locost racing series in Finland. After thinking about it for a moment we decided to buy them anyways. If nothing else, we could put them on the race taxi...

The wheels are made by PLS in France and I was told they have been in a Mercedes Benz touring car. The weight is 9 kilos each. The wheels are three piece with a magnesium center.

When I got the wheels to the garage I quickly realized the problem of space required to store 18 wheels.. :-)

Most of the wheels are pretty badly damaged, so they will have to be straightened out. I think we can get a couple straight sets for the car. First we have to check the centers for straightness and cracks, and then check the outer halves too.

The wheels will be mounted in the same fashion as the 911 street car. The bolt pattern will be changed with an adapter.

A new guy got involved in the project, Erno. Erno has already brought energy and enthusiasm to the project which has rub off on to me and Mika. Most of race taxi's events this summer's will be attended by Erno.