I had a lot of fun at the Apocalaps track day over the weekend.
Fun that probably stretched beyond my capability as a driver...
I hit a wall pretty hard around the back of the track towards the end of the day. I lost the rear end and spun across the grass into the barrier. I still can't figure out exactly why the rear end got loose. Maybe sand on the track? Maybe worn rear tyres by the end of the day? Maybe the car is just too much of a handful for me?
I caught the crash on a GoPro for your viewing pleasure of my pain.
Pretty flat front end
I got off pretty cheaply. My helmet hit the steering wheel hard enough to bend it.
I was a bit dazed initially, but came around after a few seconds. I've got a mild case of whiplash and mild concussion. I think I would have been a lot worse if I wasn't wearing a 5-point harness. I've got bruising across both shoulders and across my stomach where the the straps were. My advice to anyone doing this sort of racing like this to install one of these harnesses.
Probably the only reason I don't have a f*cked up face, head or neck at this moment. It was the best $200 I've spent in a long time. It installed in an afternoon and clips out when I don't need it.
Thanks to all the crew who were checking on me, pulled up next to me on the track asking if I was ok, called me over the last few days or gave me a man-hug after the crash. The support so far has been overwhelming with lots of offers of parts, assistance and anything else I need. Thanks to Russ who helped pry the sheetmetal off the front tyres so we could load it on the trailer. Special callout to Tom who let me use his trailer to get the car home and probably didn't get himself home to about 8 at night after we finally got mine in the garage. You're all legends.
So in case you can't tell, this crash is now the start of the rebuild that I was planning on doing next year. The car has some rust in the rear under the roof and sills and i was planning on stripping it next year to sort that out.
Rather than just repairing the damage at the front of the car from the crash and leaving rust in the rear, I think this is an opportunity to bring that rebuild forward.
With that in mind, I did a quick damage assessment on the car yesterday to so I can plan the rebuild.
The damage to the car seems to be mostly cosmetic sheetmetal so far. The radiator is shagged and the front pulleys are scratched, but engine looks to be fine.
The subframe where the radiator support panel mounts is pretty badly bent.
The chassis connectors have bent at the mounting point to the subframe due to the force
The motor looks like it has moved at least 50mm forward under impact for the headers to hit the upper A-arm castle nut. (Crap photo)
Is it normal for the engine to move that far forward under impact?
Has anyone worked with subframe damage like this before? What's the likelyhood of it being bent?
Is this a good excuse to replace the subframe with an aftermarket one?
Rough plan at the moment:
- Strip car and media blast
- Replace front sheetmetal
- aftermarket front subframe
- keep the BBC (of course )
- probably 4L80E auto
- new interior
- Some decent bucket seats
- Mini tubs
- 4-link or torque arm rear end (dunno if there are any torque arm designs that will let me keep my Dana 60?
- roll cage
Unfortunately, I've just sunk a heap of money into a 7 week holiday to the USA (parts buying trip?
), so won't be making any major purchases until next year. Will spend the next few months disassembling and figuring out what can be reused and what will need replacing.