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  • Writer's pictureErik Lind

The Bleeding Panda

Updated: Nov 14, 2018

This guy and his dirty car have become great friends over the last few years. The car has been a hot rod its entire life, and the look pre-dates Magnus Walker's #277 by a considerable margin. It features a 3.2SS of unknown origins, but she runs like the wind.

The Panda also has (soon to be "had") a hodge-podge of SWB front suspension, beam and bits on it. It all worked OK, until the owner drove CPT KAOS. We consulted with Chuck at Elephant Racing on just what was in this thing, and started to formulate a game plan. We wanted to save weight, eliminate the bent suspension, gain some camber to take advantage of the R888r tires on the Panda and make the car turn and track better.

We found that the rear trailing arm bushings were hammered, the engine and trans mounts looked (and felt) original, The front bushings were polyurethane and had "flowed" over time and the sways needed adjustment.

I also saw that there was one old MSD box running twin coils. This is a waste, as the split halves the effective voltage and renders the MSD useless. I made up some brackets and we installed a pair of MSD 6AL units so we have some rev-limiting safety, and pair of solid core coils. Set the timing and the car really woke up. Dyno results are coming.

While at Thunderhill on a cool day, the car was still getting hot. Oil temps hit 250 easily and the owner wanted a cool down. The Panda had an engine mounted cooler and a Carrera cooler up front. We added a set of the trick Elephant finned lines (good for 15-ish degrees) and a SPAL 7.5" fan on a switch for good measure.

I also recommended and installed one of CDD Autogear's trick blade fuse panels. No more hassling with loose or crappy ceramic fuses. As a bonus, I used fuses with an indicator LED that lights when the fuse blows. Makes roadside diag a snap!

Stay tuned, as we just picked up an SC to yank all the aluminum suspension bits from. We will be installing a pile of parts, including raised spindle and cambered struts, camber plates, RebelSRacing control arm bushings and a bump steer kit. The SC will also sacrifice its brake booster and sheetmetal for reinforcement in order to add a vacuum booster for the Boxster brakes.

#newmodels #newreleases

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