Friday, August 29, 2008


EMAIL TO TEAM (Prior to Hurricane Gustav)


Just a quick update before we shut this down for a couple of days. Carver has come through again on the information side setting us up with a pre-bent hoop from Clausen's so our cage fabrication just got 50% easier. I plan to go pick it up Saturday morning along with the three lengths of additional tubing we will need to complete the cage. I got the reminder e-mail from LeMons that the due date for payment is Sept 1. I will send our fees in to assure our spot so if you guys could send your portion to me, that would be cool.

On the truck front, the front cap is off along with some miscellaneous weight that really did not need to be there. After making the hoop template, I removed the top for ease of installation. I left the AC and PS for one of you guys. It has a serpentine belt system on it and there is a tensioner between the crank, water pump and alternator but I am not sure we can get a belt that short. I’ve never seen one that short before. I chopped a coil and a half off the two front springs to lower the front end and with the help of our newest team member, Dennis Gros (taking Dr. Marshall's place), removed the bed, four leafs out of the rear springs, and set up for our mono leaf rear suspension system. Dennis is fabricating the upper spring perch.

It seems like every time I turn around, this little truck is giving us another advantage. Example: The fuel cell is already boxed in between the frame rails on the sides and the rear axle from the rear. The fuel pump and fill are on top. With the center section of the bed cut out,(which we were going to do anyway for weight) a fuel pump change will be as easy as changing an air filter. Also, the orientation of the filler neck, with just a piece of rubber hose, can be relocated to the top of the bed through the tonneau cover allowing the entire driver's side to get caved in and still have no worries about putting fuel in. If you have a minute, "YouTube” 24 lemons and view the footage from Carolina Motorsports park to see what we will be facing.

One last note, once this weather decides what its going to do, I’ll get with you guys and see what kind of shape your schedules are in. We basically have a few suspension mods, dietary concerns (for the truck, that is) and install the cage and creature comforts and we are in supply and decoration mode. October 4th track day would be a great shake down if you guys are up for it!

Take care and stay in touch,
Chris Wilken

Monday, August 25, 2008


Chris acquired a 1995 Ford Ranger. Details shall remain vague. Parties shall remain nameless.


Good News:
  • I got the truck to the office today and I don’t think we have to worry about anyone thinking we might have spent more than $5oo on it.
  • It starts and runs fine with negligible difference in compression from 1 - 4.
  • The Ranger has bigger front brakes than I thought and will work fine for our needs.
  • Clutch feels strong and, of course, the seller said it was “new”.
  • All the tires are the same brand and have a lot of life left in them.
  • I have done some reading and lowering the truck will be easy and cheap “FREE”
  • The decal on the door says the truck weighs 234 lbs more in the rear than the front so balance should be OK.

Bad News:

  • There were remnants of front rotors.
  • I now know what a crack needle looks like up close and where drug people hide them.
  • It has no spare tire.
  • We will need 2 hood pins to make sure that the hood stays latched.

Great News:

  • It says "LEMON" all over it and will be a great build for a great time. Can’t wait!

Chris Wilken

Sunday, August 24, 2008




Project LEMON HAULER : AKA L M N H A L R is about to get underway. If you want to see a vision of the goal, just Google '95 Ranger road race pics and you’ll get the idea. I am picking up the lemon on Monday and plan to get started as soon as possible. Plan is to work on the truck a few hours a week in the evening, usually Monday, Thursday and Fridays for a couple of hours each as to not interfere with family time.

Gutting and relocating is obviously first on the agenda and then we install the safety cage. Any ideas on set up and suspention mods will be greatly appreciated and I will let you know what Saturday morning we are going to install the seat so you can be there to make sure you can get comfortable. On the list of pieces parts we need, a removable steering wheel coupling with wheel and a power disconnect switch are items we have yet to aquire.

Only 52 days till we lemon!

Chris Wilken

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

LeMons Texas: YOU'RE IN!


11 August 2008

Hi, Team Captain:
Good news--I think. Your team has officially been ACCEPTED for the Yee-Haw, It's LeMons Texas race on 18-19 October 2008 at MSR Houston in Angleton TX. So what do you do now?

A: Read this email completely.

B: Forward it to the rest of your team, one of whom is certainly smarter than you are. (You agreed to be captain, so clearly you're not the genius.)

C: Acknowledge this email with a reply that says "Team (Whatever the Hell it Is) Received the Acceptance." Everything you need will be sent via the team's email of record, so I wanna be sure someone's getting this junk.

(Yada, yada, yada, entry fees, schedules, tech, rules, yada, yada, yada)

I think that's about everything for now. Thanks again, start wrenching on that crapheap, and I'll see you in October.

Best regards,
Jay Lamm, Chief Perpetrator

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Entry Application

Apparently, there are a lot of people who want to drive low-buck crappy cars wheel-to-wheel at high speeds, so we had to submit something that might help get us accepted. Here's what our Team Captain submitted:

"As our name suggests, we are are all profesionals at what we do, but when it comes to racing, we are all club racers/car guys at heart. Fun is priority 1. We have an OB/GYN (in case anyone gets pregnant during the event); an orthodontist (well, in case anybody needs any teeth put back); a Smoothie King operator (they are darn tastee); a drycleaner (to get rid of all the evidence); a general contractor (he will be the guy that digs the hole); an attorney (he assures us he is the kind that wears the white hat); and, oh yeah, just in case anything goes wrong with the car, we also have a mechanic shop owner and his son. We seem to have all the bases covered and are all in agreement that if this event is half as much fun as it seems on YouTube, we are going to fit right in. We would like the opportunity to bring some of our New Orleans fun to your event and see just how long we can make a piece of crap, but safe, sled go round and round."

The deadline for entries is August 11, 2008. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope we get in! Chris, Marshall, Phil, Mike, Robbie, Mark, Johnny and Richard.

Friday, August 1, 2008

24 Hours of LeMons???

It's not in Europe and the cars are crappy, but it rates high on the Fun-O-Meter. YEE-HAW IT'S LeMONS TEXAS '08!!

The crowd. The spectacle. The pall of blue smoke and roasted clutch discs. In all motorsport, no event captures the universal human need to whale on old crapcans and hoover down greasy barbecue like the 24 Hours of LeMons.

Each LeMons race is for cars purchased, fixed up, and track-prepped for a total of 500 dollars or less. But before reaching the grid, you'll have to survive trials like the Personal-Injury-Lawyer Anti-Slalom, the Marxist-Valet Parking Challenge, and the Wide Open Throttle Rodthrowapalooza. Twelve hours into the race, the car voted People’s Choice is called in and awarded a cash prize; simultaneously, the car voted People’s Curse is called in and summarily destroyed. At the end of 24 hours, a gala awards ceremony plies the survivors with trophies, plaques, and four-figure purses in canvas bags full of nickels. What's not to like?
(The above was excerpted from the Official 24 Hours of LeMons Website)

We heard about this LeMons race, checked it out and figured we had a group that (1) was crazy enough to do it; and (2) would fit right in with the program! And so a race team was born! Time to apply for acceptance and start looking for the "perfect" P.O.S. race car.