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"The Racer's Group" (TRG Motorsports) uses the exact same Smart String method that Carey uses.  It's fast, it's accurate and it measures from the outside so body/internal chassis members are not a problem.  You can even have it pre-set-up and do a fast adjustment of the rod holders when the car pulls in.  I've see a car come in to the garages and three techs do a quick alignment check and adjust in under 5 minutes - on 4 wheels.  Besides - it requires zero power so you never have to regroup when a battery or something or other dies on the electronic versions.  I had a home-made one in Rhode Island that I made from Electrical tubing on 4X jack stands and a few 12" linoleum floor tiles - super cheap.

That garbage bag tip is great, Dan.  Wish I had known back then!

Carey, and his "Smart Strings" doing a field alignment at Carlisle.  There is a similar device on the rear bumper and monofilament fishing lines going from front horizontal bar to the rear one, then adjusted to a perfect "box" around the car vs the edges of the wheel rims.  That gives you your baseline, then measure from the line (string) to the same place on the rim both sides.



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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Ran the car round the block and re-checked toe. It was within 1/16th of the above. That was nice. Bought a big boy grease gun and filled the beam. 


Got some nice goopy stuff to come out under the trailing arm bushings on the ends of the beam & figured good enough. Then noticed some thinner stuff dripping down off the middle of the beam, felt like brake fluid. Wha?

Checked and tightened the brake fluid reservoir lines. No issues there. Finally determined this AM that it was the Liquid Wrench I'd hosed into the center chuck a week and a half ago trying to get the torsion leaves loose. The new grease must've pushed some through the adjuster slots...

So this morning I made a test run through the S-turns about two-three miles from the house. Test the brakes and see if the temp gauge matches up with the fry thermometer I calibrated last month. I took it easy going out. Brakes stop straight. Steering wheel is now an eighth turn off center (sigh). Turned around in a gas station and ran back through the deserted road in second gear, joyfully revving it up to 5000 rpm for the first time. 

Boys, it sounds glorious.

Looked down at the tach and saw the GREEN LIGHT


Off the pedal. Pulled the accumulator switch. The green light stayed on. 


Shut her down. Coasted to the shoulder.


Felt everything. Not too hot. No oil splashing out. Pulled the dipstick: low but that's how it reads when there's 2-3 quarts in the deep sump.

Jesus, did I break the oil pump tang? 

I read the gauge on the accumulator. I had pushed the switch back in before turning off the key while coasting at idle. The gauge read low. Looked at it more closely: 8-10 lbs. 

Wait, that's actually about right.  

There had been no weird sounds or smells.

Pondered. Nothing to do but give it a minute to collect its feelings and start her up again. 

Started right up. No oil light. Drove home slowly, without joy.

Noticed the temp gauge was now at just above 80—before, it had not really moved. 

No oil light as I pulled into the driveway. Pulled the dipstick with the car running and put the turkey fryer thermometer in. You have to bend it just a little to keep the thermometer face off the fan belt. Read 190F. So my oil temp sensor is accurate. 

So why did the pressure warning light go on?



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Slight possibility of air pocket in pressure switch that you lost when you shut it down then re-started it?

I'd plumb in a mechanical gauge temporarily. I bought one from Jeg's, Auto Meter I think about $40. Uses skinny plastic hose with 1/8" pipe thread fittings.

I also bought an AN-8 adapter fitting, male on one end, female on the other with an 1/8" female pipe thread in the middle.

I can test my oil pressure in any spot of my system now.

Added a quart o' Brad Penn. I'll run the same esses some day soon and see what's what.

I suppose it's possible I had too little in the sump and too much in the accumulator. But typically when I pull that switch, usually when I turn the key on but before pressing the starter button, the oil light goes off immediately. It's the coolest thing to watch it happen. 

Anyway I also set the timer for 20 minutes after parking the car, then went out to start it back up, which it did. I hope to do a longer, hotter test drive soon and try the same thing, as a hedge against Dead Spyder Starter Syndrome. 

Totally agree, Eric. Extend those wires with a nice twist-wrap solder job and a couple marine heat-shrinks. Ed, extend whatever you wrapped that harness with. Anything to a) prevent going under the dash and b) NOT take anything/everything apart again.

I buy the $6 kit from Harbor Freight. Wired two trailers up so far with those, they are weather and waterproof.

The Spyder's gas gauge read halfway between 1/4 and empty so I drove to the gas station & added 8.8 gallons of 93 octane, which filled the tank, so I'm calling that gauge perfect. The car feels stable and stops straight. Shifting is still easy (though 4th was a bit hard to find the first time). 

Both doors rattle just a bit so I guess it's time to install the weatherstripping I bought.

There's 5 1/2 inches clearance under the floor just behind the front wheels, and 5 3/8 just ahead of the rears. Stance seems good.


This headlight is aimed a little too far right and probably too high. I may have to pull it to get the adjustment right...


Steering wheel needs to come off and get re-indexed to make it straight and get the turn signal cancelers to work. I made a thing to poke the horn button out from the inside but it didn't work the first try and I'm pretty gun-shy about damaging that part. Any advice appreciated.

Still trying to decide what to do about the firewall upholstery. The more I live with it the more I feel like we're gonna be able to live with it. . . .


Cleaned and reinstalled the floating floor.


I do think the interior turned out pretty realistic...


Once again, thanks to all who have supported me in this foolishness.


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Got up nice and early yesterday to run some roads with the GoPro and get my buddy with his drone to do a few overhead/follow-on takes and it did not go entirely as planned.

The good news: The car handles stable and the engine runs strong and sounds good; no further oil pressure issues.

But also:

*When I got back I noticed the headlights were out.

*There's a small drip from the transaxle.

*Both front tires rub the fenders on turns.

*Trying on my new helmet for one of the runs, I just put it on on top of my flat cap like the dork I am and did not realize it until hours later when I reviewed the video, so that footage is now marked OUTAKES ONLY (I'll post it soon, don't worry).



After about an hour and a half of farting around, idling and low/medium speed third gear runs on a nice suburban road on a sunny 75-degree morning, the temp gauge had crept up to about 105C (around 220F), so I curtailed the video project.

Spyder guys warned me this would happen when they learnt I was not installing, at least initially, an auxiliary oil cooler. Seems a simple enough thing to add one.

But for now I'm going to install the underpan I made and do the same futzy near-the-house test drive on a similar morning soon. Data, me boys!

Meanwhile, this morning I checked the headlights and found the high beams worked, so I pulled the relays and tried one then the other, and replaced the low beam one. All good now.


I also tightened the clamps on the outer edges of the axle boots. Hopefully that stanches the transmission drip. 

And of course,IMG_6092

Hopefully I'll get this buttoned up and tested by week's end. And wouldn't it be something if the tins cure the problem?


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75 degrees ambient is about when I usually need to turn the cooler fan on - and that's with the (wheel-well Setrab) cooler permanently plumbed inline.

With the fan off, the temp hovers around where your gauge is indicating in the photo once the ambient heads towards 80. Turning the fan on drops it to one-third to half gauge (no numbers on my gauge face).

Warmest indicated temps are usually idling in traffic after a spirited run. Sometimes, coolest temps are charging up a hill in a lower gear with revs over 3500.

At any rate, the cooler - with fan running - has been able to handle any situation encountered so far here in sunny California.

If I recall, the original Spyders didn't spend a lot of time puttering around in stop and go traffic, though.


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