Here's the latest news from Rice Vigeant Racing. About a month ago, The Gear Grinders, our local racing club, had their annual awards banquet. We just missed being #1 car for the club so were weren't getting any trophies this time. Like the previous year, it was held at Joe's Garage, a private car museum, and great place for that type of event. Also like last year, Rice Vigeant won a huge amount of the raffle prizes. Unlike last year though, I (James) won a few. In fact, I won a lot.

All the cool stuff we won at the anual Gear Grinder party.

Here's a photo of the Gear Grinder bonanza that we took home. The club jacket I also won hasn't been made yet though. Mark won an interesting prize. It came from a brothel in central Nevada. I wonder if he'll ever get a chance to use that two-for-one coupon. (Just kidding Mary!)

On to the car. While we are still waiting for the crank to come back to from the machine shop, we had a few other things that needed doing on the car. When we first made the engine cover, the plan was to hold it down with DZUS spring fasteners. But the size we needed was hard to find, so we used screws instead. Well two years have gone by and it was really time to make the switch. We still couldn't find the proper length, so we took what we had and lengthen them. Alan and I cut them in half, while Mark welded in little spacers. It took all three if us a couple of hours, but we wound up with ten useable pieces.

Then we had to drill out the old threaded pieces and fit in the new spring latches. It was important that we do this job before installing the engine because otherwise there'd be no way to see the fitting from inside.

Alan sitting inside the engine compartment checking where the Dzus fasteners will go.

Here, Alan is enjoying the spacious "rear seat" that appears when the engine is removed. He's checking where the DZUS fasteners will be attaching.

 I hate drilling hole in perfectly good bodywork.

It's always hard to drill holes in our nice paint job, but it sometimes needs to be done. Here is a during and after picture. The new fasteners are spring loaded and captured so they will pop out when removed, and will stay with the cover and never get lost. The cover now looks done.

The first Dzus was easy because we could see both sides

When we knew our crank wouldn't get back from the machine shop in time (It is still there now), Richard from SouthWest Supper Bikes came to our rescue again. He loaned us a Hayabusa racing motor. It had been used for 1/8 mile drags but broke a starter gear mount making it difficult to race with. Since we can push start, he felt we could make good use of the motor. Richard, THANK YOU!!! We spent last weekend putting our various parts onto their engine and putting it into the car. Previously this had been done with Mark's "A-frame" engine hoist, but Alan and I felt a more mobile solution was needed so we bought an engine hoist.

The loaner engine goes in

 About 10 seconds after putting it together we discovered it was too tall to fit under the racecar. We had to stand the car up a little higher to make it work, but we now have the ability to change motors at Bonneville.]

Our first race will be coming up soon in May, If you want to come out and watch we'll have instructions in the next newsletter.

James Rice

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