Earlier this year someone posted a link to a Nissan Stanza being sold on craigslist for dirt cheap. This wasn't just any Stanza, it had been previously used as a Chump car and it came with a particular theme. The car had quite a few issues. It had cooked a couple alternators, the shifter was really loose, the roll cage was poorly designed and implemented, and many other small things. Taking this all into consideration we towed the car home for a grand total of $100.
The first thing I did when I brought it home was tear off all of the old decals and the sombrero. When that was done I painted it to look like the monarch mobile, then installed some monarch decals and car numbers.
After that we started tinkering with the car and tackling issues. Most of the parts for this car are not available anymore so we had to get creative with our repairs. For example, the shifter bushing had melted so we used a copper crimp water pipe fitting that was just the right diameter. We also replaced a few engine mounts and cut down some brackets that used to have rubber bushings. Then we remounted the seat so that our giant drivers would fit and put in a spare 5 point race harness.
We decided to take it up to Waterford Hills for a little testing at the last open track day. Unfortunately when we pulled out onto the track the alternator immediately stopped working. After a couple shameful laps we found the battery at 7.5 volts and the car was still running somehow. So we packed it up and started working with the issues we found.
First we installed a replacement alternator and found it generating 19 volts while the battery was still at only 11 volts. So I hooked it directly to the battery before the cut off switch. The issue appears to have been resolved as the battery was now at 13.9-14.1 volts. We also installed a large 52" curved led array in lieu of stock headlights, not only to save money but supply more lumens.
The car was finally prepared for some track use. The first event we were able to attend was a SCCA Rallycross at Oakshade Raceway, a circle track in Ohio. The First session was a Test and tune session, which was the perfect opportunity to get a feel for the car.
The next session was the real deal. We were being timed and scores would be based off of all 4 laps added together.
Possibly my favorite part of this event was the night driving. It was very challenging since the clouds of dust illuminated by the lights made it very hard to see anything.
Overall I feel car did well and I had a lot of fun at this event, so stay tuned for more Stanza action.