There is also a softer, gooier type of sound deadening that Nissan places around the wheel wells and inside the quarter panels of the S13. This type of sound deadening is impervious to the dry ice method. Instead, we used a torch to heat it up and a putty knife to carefully scrape it off. Let me emphasize the word carefully here. Molten sound deadening on your skin is a painful thing and you can come up with some pretty creative strings of cuss words when this stuff gets on you. The thing is, it sticks to your skin like molten magma and when you attempt to remove it, you end up peeling off your own skin along with it. [Insert elaborate strings of cursing here.] Sounds painful, huh? It is. Please, don't ask me how I know this.
Once we removed the large pads of sound deadening, we used a wire wheel attached to an angle grinder to remove the residual sound deadening and also the adhesive seam filler in the joints of the interior. Many of the cars I've seen at the track neglect this step and also don't paint the interior. Honestly, that looks like crap. But hey, if you like driving a car that looks like a theft recovery, that's your business.
Speaking of doing it right, every time we build a racecar we learn something new. It's the small details that make a difference. This time we learned about spot weld drill bits, which allow you to drill out the weld without drilling a hole through the body. In the past, we used to remove unneeded brackets by drilling out their spot welds. The problem with this is the car ends up looking like Swiss cheese later on. This might not harm a car functionally in road racing, but when you race on a dirt lakebed like El Mirage, it's critical that every hole in the car is sealed to prevent the driver's compartment from filling up with dust and blinding the driver mid run. This might sound strange, but it happens in land speed racing.
With the interior prepped, we dropped off Project 240 LSR at Pierce Motorsports, located in Torrance, California. Jim Pierce's experience as a fabricator is wide in breadth having prepared vehicles for rally, off road, and road racing. What's more impressive is that Jim's driving resume mirrors that of his fabrication experience. Jim has seen seat time in everything from the Baja 1000 to Prescott Forest Rally and NASA and SCCA endurance and sprint racing. With experience in off road and rally racing, we knew that Jim was capable of building a cage to withstand the most common type of crash in land speed racing, the high speed flip.
At Bonneville, there are no other cars on course with you; however, there is one giant wall to hit. It's the giant white one made of salt below that you're racing on. At high speeds, the common crash in land speed racing begins with the car becoming unstable, the front end lifting off the ground, and then the car going airborne. The car becomes airborne sometimes by 10-20' and then comes down on its roof. Check out the video below, for a wicked example.