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The Orange Cake


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Well, they did the job OK..  That's all we put in the Purple People Eater for Steve, but Josh uses them to make the body rigid.  The speeds are higher these days, acceleration is much better and WRC is just astounding to watch, but looking at Racing Fail or Chopito each Friday night shows that cage damage is pretty rare even in some big crashes. We bought a wrecked Evo3 that had been imported as a rally car from Japan and hit a tree on the front driver's corner really hard. The cage broke as the tree came into the steering dept, and you could see the rust in the tube. The body was a rustbucket with fibreglass over the floor to hide it, I'm amazed the crew survived.


It doesn't seem to take much to make a car strong enough to survive a big impact.  One day I'll measure the torsional rigidity before and after fitting a cage, and then after putting in the gussets that attach the cage to the body.  Up the windscreen A pillars, across the rear seat floor, & on the B pillars.

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  • 1 month later...
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Well, things slowed down over the month, Josh had a job that actually paid money and the Evo5 was just getting bigger and bigger!  The body was sprayed except for doors & guards, and the re-assembly commenced.  Its actually very difficult to build a car without scratching the new paintwork.. Josh's dad is onto the wiring with his bro & I've been making the 7-piece rear firewall. Motor and mechanicals are mainly in, front & rear suspension, fuel & brake setups..


..and the first Whiteline Tarmac Sprint is next week!  So, in reality we will roll in the Evo3 gravel car on Monday for a check-over, and take that to Sydney on Thursday.

Of course with the Troll being used as a test-bed for the tray we're building we figured it was a good time to fix the head gasket leak. Its now got a new head on and with a few more days work it will be ready for a Christmas break.


Josh welded up a lot of the spotwelds holding the tray together, but then it was just too tempting as  flat surface!


So...  Evo5 finished for the Whiteline events early next year, finish the tray, finish the Subaru cage sitting in the back shed and THEN onto KE70s!!  (this is getting slower than Project Binky and not as entertaining!)

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  • 1 month later...

January & back into it!  That custom tray has finally left the workshop, it goes on a Patrol that is 12years old and never been registered. Someone bought a pair of them and kept on to do up, but never got around to it, and the current owner bought it to do the same. So its never even been dealer-prepared, it went straight to a farm on a delivery truck.

The Evo5 is getting close, the firewall is in and awaiting sealing-


The fuel system is done-


All the work is in the wiring-


We started on the Subaru again last week, and this week should see that cage finished. Then its Cake time!

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Hey Col . . . .  don't forget . . . Rome wasn't built in a day, & neither is Josh's Evo, it appears; or Project Binky's Mini, for that matter.

Comment:  I start to go to sleep watching Blinky episodes these days.

"Rome wasn't built in a day" is an adage attesting to the need for time, to create great things. It is the usual English translation of a medieval French phrase, Rome ne fu[t] pas faite toute en un jour, from about 1190 AD"

Anyway, I'm loving this Orange Cake thread, when we finally get to it.

Cheers Banjo

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On 1/21/2022 at 7:00 PM, Banjo said:

Hey Col . . . .  don't forget . . . Rome wasn't built in a day, & neither is Josh's Evo, it appears; or Project Binky's Mini, for that matter.

Comment:  I start to go to sleep watching Blinky episodes these days.

"Rome wasn't built in a day" is an adage attesting to the need for time, to create great things. It is the usual English translation of a medieval French phrase, Rome ne fu[t] pas faite toute en un jour, from about 1190 AD"

Anyway, I'm loving this Orange Cake thread, when we finally get to it.

Cheers Banjo

Nothing to do with race car stuff ever goes to plan. 

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  • 1 month later...

So, the Whiteline Events are on Thursday over summer, and on the Tuesday we had got this far..


It had the exhaust made up by then, so Josh's brother & Mum took it to Sydney for a  day on the dyno-


It came back on Wednesday and we fitted most everything else, and on Thursday it was off to Sydney!


Two big thunderstorms howled through, the track never dried out all night-


But amazingly absolutely nothing went wrong! It ran perfectly all night and now Josh just needs to work out how to drive it.  Anyone used launch control on a race car?? Feels very weird!  Sequential boxes-   don't leave your hand on the gearlever between short shifts, it will sense your hand and engage the throttle cut..  Not to mention twin-m'cyl brakes on Tilton pedals with bigger calipers, so many things different!

Then back home, swap cars Friday and off to a gravel rallysprint in the Evo3 on Saturday. The 3 is behaving beautifully at the moment, not needing touching in the last three or four events.

Last week, we bought the workshop expansion package and sorted out the slabs.


They've both been poured, so while Big G sorts out the steelwork, Josh & I can get the Subaru finished...  finally!

Yeah, there's a scratch down my camera lens..  I should throw it away but I can't bring myself to do it...




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  • 3 months later...

Hmm.. March to June, it is getting like Project Binky!

The 5 is sitting awaiting its next run up at Leyburn, we've had three events with it and it is superb.  The Evo3 however...

well...  The Cake was left behind the Evo3 as we pulled the motor down before the Orange rally in May and found a spun bearing and two cracked pistons. Josh bought a random motor from someone and a mate mailed up a  box of pistons with rods and we ripped into it. The block from the new motor was good, still faint hone marks. However two pistons had collapsed ring lands and those cyls had detonation marks on the head and piston crowns. We took the block and crank. One set of pistons in the box had the rings frozen into the grooves with gunk, just plain never-change-the-oil gunk.  It took a couple of hours to clean them up, and then we selected the best set of rings from all the ones we had.

The head off the original engine I stripped and did a valve grind, Big G assembled the block with its mis-matched components and off we went to the Orange Rally. Things went OK until the flange nuts on the exhaust manifold came loose and we lost boost as the turbo dropped. That was from making a new manifold completely after the old one suffered fatigue & cracked in the Oberon Rally the month previously.

More work needed as Josh found the turbo had side-play from having to use a restrictor for CAMS events, it was over-spinning and sucking itself up the intake tube, giving the bearing a lot of side thrust.  Buy a new twin-scroll with bushes instead, push the Cake aside and make yet another new manifold. The gearbox and diffs arrived back from Adelaide after a check on last Wednesday & were fitted. The motor went in on Thursday and Josh could start making a new dump pipe to suit, and I finished in time to hit bed about midnight. He kept working..

I was up at 5am Friday & dragged him up at 7am to finish what we could. We left some things to be done before driver's briefing on Saturday and headed for Sydney, 8hours late at 2pm. 4hours later it was on a dyno, and at midnight Friday we loaded it back on the trailer, tuned for the new twin-scroll. We headed for Bega, 6hours away..

When he cunningly handed the Monster truck over to me about 2am and went to sleep, I found the heater didn't work.. -3deg outside at Canberra, ice on the outside of the windscreen, fog on the inside..

Arrived in time to unload it and start getting ready, Josh had been given #1 start but talked his way into getting #10 instead. First stage gave a terrible clattering sound so he slowed down and drove to the end, came 12th but on looking underneath he found the weight balancing the driveshaft was hitting the plastic underbody we'd just fitted.  He said "Oh, I need a recipro saw..", and a guy standing there said "I've got one of those, here.."  He was the medic for the stage and had one to cut people out of cars! So, plastic cut, into car, get control time and start immediately..  come first.  Go to next stage.. come first again....  go to next stage.. hold cow!  First again!

By now he was second overall and followed up with a second place and a third in the next stages.  Another refuel and we fitted the spotlights, & off into the night.  All was not to be, over a bridge and brake for the left-hander to find no brakes!  Up the bank fly over the top and into a storm-water retention dam!!  So, we go out to the stage and wait for the follow-up to open the road, and pull it out with the Patrol Monster-truck. The inevitable locals turned up with giant utes with winches and lots of beers and helped, and it was just after midnight when we hauled it back to the motel.  Damm, its Sunday & I last went to bed on Thursday!

So we went and spectated on Sunday then drove home Monday making plans! Today we water-blasted it and put it on the hoist to take photos of the chassis rail pushed back into the driver's floor and the radiator rail crushed on both sides. The K-frame is a writeoff, but mechanically it seems OK. The most likely explanation is Josh took rear bias off before the night stages started to ease the pressure on the rear pads, but the Evo5 has the bias control knob turning the other way and in the dark he turned even more rear bias into the Evo3, and arrived with no front brakes at all. I hope he's right as I wouldn't want it to be another explanation  we miss and have it happen again!

Anyway, we will put it aside for 6weeks as we must finish the Subaru cage. Then, because the Cake was taking so long and Stephen wanted it with an Altezza motor & 6-speed, he went and bought an AE86 rally car that needs some modifications. So, Subaru, then AE86, THEN back into the Orange Cake at least to get something done before we start on that Evo3 again!

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  • 1 month later...

Well, crunch time is coming..  Subaru done, AE86 getting there-  The main jobs were to extend the roll cage with a pair of roof bars from the windscreen to the rear suspension, an X in the main hoop and a set of Sainz bars down the A-pillar.  Turned out, modifying a cage is much harder than building one from scratch, but its now up to modern specs for gravel work.


The seat mounts also needed upgrading-


so they now have the expected pipe mounts-


I refurbished some of the 14" Corona steelies we used on the Purple People Eater, so new tyres on Stage one-


and one of the few jobs to be done in the next 4 days is to finish a gearbox guard as the J160 sits very low at the back, which is why I had such strange side mounts on the PPE.


We measured the rear suspension carefully as the Bilsteins were leaking, and ended up putting a spacer above the bump stop to make sure the diff stopped before the shocks bottomed out. We've used this model Bilstein for years and always had leakage problems after a while, hopefully this helps.

Otherwise, whoever built the car did a good job. It was a gravel car for a while, the underside is ruined, but then a tarmac racer as the gearbox & mounts are un-marked. 

So its back on the gravel down at Batemans Bay this weekend coming!

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  • 6 months later...

Well, its still crawling along...  The Evo5 is fine, Josh has won 2 of the 4 rounds of the Whiteline Tarmac Sprints so far this season, one round left.  The Evo3 lunched the motor on the practice day for Coffs big two-day rally, but the replacement seems ok in a couple of gymkhanas and its first 2023 rally is this coming weekend.

The AE86...  Ah well, halfway through Batemans Bay it tossed a rod out both sides of the block, and it's sitting out the back of the workshop currently. We have a couple of cages to build first, an RX7 & a Datto 1600, and then it gets new, lower, seat mounts (the floors are cut out already) and a 3SGE instead of a replacement 4AGE.  This was going to be the motor for the Orange Cake, so that project is a bit undecided. We still want to tub the back end of the KE70 sedan with coilovers and equal-length arms, but first we need the AE86 running and reliable.

It should be an interesting year...

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