Last time we talked about getting a neglected 2002 back on its feet. You don’t think that I would get this fine specimen up to working order without testing it!
I needed to take it on an adventure for the work done, and also because why not. Of course, a rallycross about an hour and a half away is the perfect test. Now [reminder] I have not driven this car further than about 5 miles. So an hour and half drive to a friend’s house was a bit a test for sure. Some highway driving and mountain roads… the poor retiree definitely had a trip a head of him.
A few things to take care of before our trip. First being a new giubo (driveshaft flex disk) as being this old most rubber bits are cracked and broken. Another rubber issue was the feed lines for the brake master. The old rubber lines formed a leak from the reservoir. Also I ditched the secondary air pump. Because it is 2019 and we have better stuff for that.
During all this, the car parasitic draws the battery dead in about an hour when parked. Come to find that that the alternator had a short inside it. New alternator fixes that easy. We tried a bit of cleaning but it was past fixing. Another victim of sitting too long.
The trip went fairly well. No overheating issues. Ran perfectly. Fair weather so no need for the broken wipers. Many looks on the highway, even a thumbs up from an Aston Martin driver, but no issues till the overnight stop. At the event I had myself and a friend driving the beast. His first rallycross. What a better way to try it than a classic 2002.
One thing became quickly and blatantly obvious. This thing has zero shock absorption left. As seen in video and picture. Some shocks would have been amazing. But the small chassis makes for an amazing little rallycross car. On this tight course it was a dream to handle. We could have been very competitive with a Limited slip and shocks. It grips quite well and is very chuckable in the tight sections. Just enough power from the little carbi M10 engine to get you around.
The race itself went well. Spent half the time teaching my friend Gabe on the finer points of RWD gravel rallycross as he had never done one before. With the low power of the car it made it easier to drive. We couldn’t turn fast laps like the competition but the car fought all day with no shocks and no issues. By the end of the day, I turned in a 5th place in class and Gabe managed a 10th out of 12. Too bad these are such collector’s items because I would love to run one as a full time RX’er.
Overall an amazing trip and was a great experience with a car i had never gotten to driven before. Does it need more work? Oh hell yeah. The wipers don’t work unless on a ghetto wired switch. The rear lights like to blow fuses. The interior is still trashed. But hey it is running and driving, and racing!
Since the trip, I brought it to my uncle and he was thrilled to see it again (and especially drive it). He plans to have a local shop go through some on the remaining things and maybe have his sons help him work on the rest. It was a blast getting it back in running driving shape, it was really a testament to the old days where you could fix nearly anything with a hammer and screwdriver, and that’s fun.