In this update: Alvord we have a problem!

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Today Les Holm, Lars Pedersen, Von Armstrong, Keith Zanghi, David Martinson, Steve Wallace, Steve Rima, Sean Rondestvedt, Cory Mitchell, Andrew Kirk, Jason Mitchell, Zac Hopkins, Jon Higley, Garrett Holm, and Eddie Harris were on hand for our Saturday work party.  Brandyn Bayes, Chris Banks and Eric Wittler were working virtual this week.

The new seat harness and brackets are complete

The day started out great with the installation of our seat with the new harnesses and brackets.  A big thank you to Darrien at Burien Upholstery who modified the Oregon Aero Seat to accommodate the dive belts in less than a day.  But the day went south when we did a plugs-in electrical test.  Plugs-in is where we use the external power source instead of internal power.  Les Holm fired up the start cart and sent 400 cycle power to the car, while Steve Wallace was in the cockpit to turn the fuel pumps on.  The four fuel pumps are not much larger than a coffee maker but put out 125 gpm each.  This was a really important test because, although we had pressure tested all of the components of the new fuel system, we had yet to do it with the fuel flowing.  The last thing that we want is to have a fuel leak with the engine running.  As soon as Steve flipped the switch, fuel started running out of the bottom of the car.  Oh boy, this isn’t good!

The team went to work trying to find the source of the leak.  The good news is, all of the new fuel system components were dry and holding seal.  The bad news is, once we had removed several panels and some of the hydraulic components, the source of the leak was verified and we found some time-consuming, not on our agenda work ahead of us.

Not good news, but we do have a plan.  Several of the team members will be coming in during the week to take on the repairs.  We should have a handle on it by the end of the week. Our scheduled engine test for next week was canceled and will have to be rescheduled.

It is good that we found the problem in the shop and not 1000 miles away in the 110-degree desert heat.  The car is very complicated with multiple systems…and that is why we test them; so that we do everything we can to avoid problems and to have success when we are out on the desert lake beds.

Les Holm sends power to the Eagle

Steve Wallace sends power to the fuel pumps

Steve Wallace removing panels to find the source of the fuel leak

Steve uses a borescope to look for the leak

Steve reaching in to gain access

Keith Zanghi removing lower panels

Cory Mitchell removing upper skin panels

John Drury emerges from the hydraulic compartment

Les, Jason, and John removing hydraulic hoses to gain access

There is no easy way to do this

Reaching in to access the lower section

The tallest guy in the shop was the only one limber enough to get to the bottom

Our favorite photo of Ed Shadle: Tacoma Motorsports Show 2008

Ed Shadle, Jim Green and his granddaughter

2008 Tacoma Motorsports Show

In 2008 we had the Eagle on display in the nearby Tacoma Dome for the Tacoma Motorsports Show.  It was full of hot rods, race cars, hydroplanes, and plenty of cool cars.  During the show, some legendary racers came by to talk to Ed and the team , including Jim Green and Gentleman Hank Johnson.

This past week legendary drag racer and local Northwest businessman Jim Green passed away. Over the years a few of us on the team worked with Jim and found him to be a kind and cheerful guy to talk to, with lots of stories!

Jim’s fuel funny car The Green Elephant won the division 6 championship in ’73 with Frank Hall driving and Jerry Verhuel turning the wrenches. He won the World Finals the same year and was runner up at the ’74 Winter Nationals and in ’75 with Mike Miller driving. In ’77 he was runner up to Prudhomme at the U.S. Nationals.

The above photo is from the 2008 Tacoma Motorsports Show with his granddaughter.

Ed with Top Fuel Driver Hank Johnson

This Week’s Cover Photo Copyright © 2016 Eric Wittler, Used with permission

Jessi Combs on a 477 mph run at Alvord 2016

Sponsor Feature: S&S Turbine Services, Ltd

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45,500 Horsepower from S&S Turbine Services, Ltd

Sponsor Feature: The LeMay Family Collection Foundation

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LeMay Family Collection is a long time sponsor of the North American Eagle®

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Ordinary people doing extraordinary things!


God Bless and Protect our Troops

Land of the Free…Home of the Brave