Monday, November 13, 2017

Probeable Cause Racing

Three weeks ago, myself and a few other guys pulled together a stack of pennies and bought a 1996 Ford Probe for $500. It had a smashed in windshield, snapped timing belt, and a rough interior.  Jason and Zack swapped in the new timing belt a week ago and got the engine to cough and stumble.  Just enough hope that we planned a work day this Friday to hopefully pull it together for the Sunday rallycross.
The 2.5L Mazda V6 powered Ford Probe GT.
Friday Jason and I picked up a few more small parts while our local Safe Lite guy installed a new windshield.  We added some fresh gas to the tank, adjusted the distributor a little and managed to get the car idling.
Probe maintenance in progress.
Jason got to work buttoning up the engine bay while I went to work on re-assembling the interior.  Amazingly, the sunroof still worked, but the passenger window was bolted into place inside the door and the driver door was only held up by one ball point pen jammed into the track. I found almost all the parts but in the end we opted to zip-tie the glass in place to be a little more secure.
The only thing holding up the whole window. 
Saturday night, Kyle and I spent some time rigging an old Miata battery into the car. The Probe is almost completely rust free, runs and drives, and for $500 is in pretty good shape other than the battery tray was rusted and the bolts to hold it to the body snapped off. Fortunately we found a block of wood and more zip-ties to secure it down and then loaded the car on the trailer.

Wood. What Can't it do?
Sunday morning we arrived at the rallycross and immediately got to work replacing the fuel filter, re-set the timing and put some numbers on the car. Kyle and I were first off the line and immediately had an issue with the car completely bogging down on the turns.

Ready to take on the dirt!

 Taking a guess that the 1/4 tank of gas wasn't enough to keep the fuel pump happy, we ran to the gas station and made it back to finish all of our runs, now with mostly full power. Jason also noticed it was only running on 5 of the 6 cylinders, found the one spark plug wire that was disconnected, plugged it in, and it was off and running for the whole rest of the day without issue.
Kyle floors it through the muddy starting line on Sunday.
At the end of the day, the car held up tremendously well. Jason took first in our class, Kyle took third (due to our lack of power in the morning), and I again missed a few gates on course but did managed to barely cone away the fastest raw time run of the group.
Racking up the trophies already!
With the dark tinted windows, no license plate (yet), and a shady-looking paint job, we all think it looks like a drug dealer's car.  Welcome to Probeable Cause Racing. We'll have it back out at Myrtle Beach with SCR-SCCA on December 2nd to wrap up the 2017 autocross season!

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