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Chenowth 1000 3 link Restore

oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
So after some surgery I had done, I am back at it this week finishing taking the car apart. Started ordering parts from Kartek today. Kits to rebuild the original Brake masters, another gas pedal, and new Clutch master/pedal assy, new steering universals and some other minor replacement parts. Completed my rendering of the new Fuel Safe cell since it will have to be a custom one off to fit the existing framework.

Before removing the engine, trans and front beam. I wanted to take a closer look at the rear 3 link and start measuring up stuff. We pulled all the link arms to measure for replacing the bushings with better joints. All of the original bushings had disinegrated. The links are being cleaned up so I can powder coat them.

After the links were pulled measured and inspected I pulled the torsion bars and the 3 link arms off. The bars were 26mm. Both arms were in great condition except for one area that was a little bit of a surprise for me to find. The rear setup measured out to 11 5/8" in of travel without the bump stop, which more or less jives with the 12" I was expecting. The surprise was that the rear shocks were actually not setup the way I would have and the rear ones were stopping the down travel Before hitting the hard stop. I thought that the lower shock mounts were put on by Chenowth, but now I believe it was from another source as it was too far off and they probably were losing the rear shocks at some point. You could see the damage on the lower mount.

I removed the lower hard stop on the torsion and could see it was not effective in preventing the shocks from over extending. We have figured out a way to squeeze a little more travel and protect the shocks at the same time. It will not require any upper mount welding but will require a new lower mount. After looking at the geometry I believe I can get 14" without too much trouble. I am not wanting to mod too much from the original design so that is what is going to limit me getting more. I have to stay focused on not drifting too far from it's original setup. The fun part is using different methods to gain that little bit more. If I want to make big changes from the way it had raced I know there is a lot more travel that can be had, but at that point I would be changing the front travel also to be effective and I am not willing to make those types of changes.

The car has T2 CV's that had been prepped correctly, but had some higher quality newer stub axles in it that were of the mid 90's era I believe, just no markings but obvious quality. So it's T2 as is, modified T4 which I have 4 sets of, or 930. The obvious is 930 but maybe that is not veering too far off from OE.Chen 1000 C.jpgchen 1000 dec A.jpg78641709_3688414004564785_2116280543090835456_n.jpg78246776_3688413977898121_6669614521654444032_n.jpg
 

harleys dad

Well-Known Member
The car is here in Westerville, Ohio suburb of Columbus. I have been building Score cars and race engines/ transmissions for 43 years so I will be doing everything except paint although I appreciate the offer. I primarly built and raced Score limited classes from 75 to the late 90's with a couple small teams with stints in Class 9 and Class 1. I have always kept building engines and transmissions on the side for old friends still racing.
The car was bought with full intent to run Norra. I won't be using Lee Leightons 1200cc race engine for a Norra race, even after I go through it. I would only put it in for a show or just a casual demo display as a C9 car. It will be a Legend big engine Class for Norra. The closest Norra race we would be ready to race would be the Norra 500 2020. I have another Norra 5/1600 but I am putting it on the back burner for now because of the new car.

I just paid attention for the first time today to the license plate that was on the trailer we brought it back on from Colorado. I thought it was a Colorado plate, but totally wrong on that lol. It was a faded blue Calif plate that was last registered in 1984 and had a Bezel from Long Beach Calif. Cabe Bros dealership. Good Karma for me as I was born, raised and worked in Long Beach VW dealerships Lol...... Uh Yeah officer I didn't know the plates expired 35 years ago.
how were the tires lol on the trailer
 

oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
how were the tires lol on the trailer
All of it had been stored inside so the tires were not checked and looked good, so we just made the call to give it a shot thinking we could just pick up some if we had an issue. We shot the axles with grease and it made the 20hr trip back. The trailer wiring was all rotted so we used a cheap set of HF magnet lights to get it back. It's not in bad shape will just need sandblasted and painted/rewire.
 

oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
This is an update on progress, but I will add the pictures to it soon.
I spent today still researching history and a trying to get some results from the races I have for it. Thanks to Vintage Offroad on FB for posting tons of Offroad Advertiser and HVW's scans, I was able to confirm some race results of the car.

1980 HDRA Imperial Valley 300........Kruger/Lester was top two in class 9, but went out on 4th lap DNF.
1981 Baja 500 ............................................ Kruger/Lester. 3rd place finish in class 9.
1981 Mint 400............................................. Kruger/Lester entered but unknown finish.
1981 Parker 400...........................................Kruger/Lester 4th place finish in class 9.
1982 Mint 400 .............................................Kruger/Lester entered but unknown finish.
1982 Parker 400...........................................Kruger/Lester entered but unknown finish.
1982 Inaugural San Felipe 250............Kruger/Lester 1st Place finish in class 9.

Frame has been stripped and a few artifacts have been cut off and ground smooth. I will be loading it into a trailer next week to take it to Columbus Powder Coat who will be sandblasting it and powder coating it.

Pulled the spindles,links, AMS Arms, Wright Rack, and took the torsions out of the beam so it can be cleaned, powder coated and new Delrin bushings put in. The arms are AMS model 114 and in perfect shape. The torsions will be replaced as they were not greased up for some reason so had some corrosion on them. That is no Bueno for me so out they go. The Chenowth bumper has been tweeked so I will be straightening it, but I don't expect to have to make a new one. I will be making at least one new side bar.

One of the two Bilstein bus steering dampners was shot, but I have 3 others so the plan is to send them out when I send the other B46-359's out. The steering shocks had welded rod ends on the shock stems but the job needs to be redone so that will be looked at.

The rod ends are in and I am double shearing the lower link to frame horn mount. It initially had the 3/4" bolt going all the way through the link to a single plate mount and then to the lower cage attachment, so that is getting changed so the cage has it's own bolt holding it to the frame horn and the link mount double sheared with it's own 3/4" mil spec bolt. The upper link will get the same double shear added.

One disheartening item was that the PRP seat I was going to install for the Norra 500 won't work as me and my other driver wouldn't fit in it after I put it in to set up the pedal and shifter positions. It just wouldn't work because of the way it broadens out at the top, our wide shoulders made it uncomfortable to shift and use the turning brake. The Mastercraft that came with it fit us perfect, but the mastercraft was only going to be used for display's. I guess a new seat for racing will have to purchased as I can't see racing with the mastercraft. Don't get me wrong I think I would just rather buy a new Mastercraft lol.
 
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oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
I found some more pictures of it as a class 1. Raced by SuperVan Rally legend Sarel van de Merwe South African racer. This was when it ran a Porsche trans and half axles before John Kruger bought it from Ivan Stewart.
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oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
Anymore info on possible Ivan Stewart car?
I am in contact with Norm Lester and we have been talking about it's history. They bought the car from Ivan, that is confirmed but he is getting in contact to find out Ivans history with it and will get back to me. John Kruger will know more about it but we are waiting on that info. Getting all of this info together has taken some time but I have to give a shout out to Doc Ramo and Norm for their help in filling in all the blanks. Norm gave me the description of it as a class 1 and I found the pictures that Fritz Ochs had posted at one time.
 

oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
Also, it is great to see another Chenowth 1000 Legend class buggy coming together for NORRA!! A big torquey pump gas engine getting 10mpg is our favorite setup. Also a range of 220 miles will prevent hot pitting and save on costs.
Yep I am excited to race it as a C1, but it will be tough as there will be few modern upgrades. One of my biggest concerns is that I can not put in as big a Fuel cell as I would like just because of the way the upper link mounts, so I will be limited on my milege.
 

LantanaTX

Well-Known Member
Yep I am excited to race it as a C1, but it will be tough as there will be few modern upgrades. One of my biggest concerns is that I can not put in as big a Fuel cell as I would like just because of the way the upper link mounts, so I will be limited on my milege.
When we restored our Chenowth 1000, we mounted the trans and then looked to see how much room was there. To gain some space we took a part the hi torque starter and clocked it downward. We managed to put a 26 gallon Harmon cell in it. We pretty much built the car around this fuel cell. It caused other things to be a pain to mount but it was all doable. You can see our build thread on here if it is helpful. We saved and used all original parts that checked out good. Since We started racing it we have upgraded only a couple of things such as heims instead of tie rod ends.
 

oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
This will be my update to where we are at in this project:
We were fortunate to get all the artifacts that were on the Frame cut off and ground down before I had my heat fail in the garage and we had a cold spell hit us. The Frame is being sandblasted and powder coated, but it will be weather dependant on when it gets back here.
We fabbed a new floor plate and mounting brackets for the pedal assemblys and dead pedal. That makes it easier to lift up in case of replacement or repair during a race. The original two piece plates and mounting can be swapped in easily as those mounting points were maintained but did not allow for easy component removal. When the frame is back I will post pictures of before and after since it will be all cleaned up lol. Again we are trying to minimalize what we have to change from OE and want to make sure it can be brought back for show purposes when that time comes.

I made a change to the steering shaft mount before powder coat. Because both of us are larger guys, the existing mount dropped down too low and put the steering wheel at an odd angle for us. The shaft has two u-joints on it but the upper one was installed too far down at the steering wheel coupler shaft. It was moved closer to the shaft bearing and the bearing support cut and moved up. The paint marks were just showing the area that were a rough cut. After it was removed the welds were ground down, the mount cuts were measured and cut, then rewelded back at the new angle with the u joint closer to the bearings. Looks the same to maintain the original look but closer to the cross tube. We bought a new MPI steering wheel and quick disconnect for racing but the OE wheel can be put on for showing as the 1980 version.
 

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oldschool5er

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Now for the fiasco I just went through. I have only been ripped off a couple times in my career by outside contracted work, but it happened to me again and I am highly pissed off about it. I rarely hire outside contract work except for of course paint work which I have failed at miserably in the past so never. I have access to powder coat parts (except anything large) and everything else needed to machine, fabricate parts and any other aspect of a car build, but Upholstery is something I have not too much experiance with so I hired someone to clean up the Mastercraft seat due to not wanting to mess with it. As I mentioned earlier I had a new PRP seat I was going to use for racing but we both did not fit well in it once I put it in the car. The Mastercraft fit us perfect so I was going to purchase a new one similiar in shape and size, but I wanted the old one cleaned up even though it was really in good shape considering 40 years of use.

I went to pick up the seat from the people I hired and the job was horrible, I could not get them to accept that their work was not even close to what I had agreed upon and the cost was close to what a new seat would have been so I expected much better. I ended up paying for it after raising a stink about it, but it was the only way I could get the seat back and no way was I going to let them have another shot at it even if they had offered which they did not. So in order to satisfy my apparent lack of appreciation of the crappy ass job done, I ripped it all apart and am redoing the entire seat substructure. The upholstery itself looks good but whats underneath needs all cleaned up and replaced.

I am glad my wife doesn't see my posts because if she saw this in our guest bathtub I might get banished from the house. It was the only way to get the majority of it cleaned after I removed the upholstery, suspension lacing cords, and the suspension seat. I also needed to loosen up the foam glue so I could remove it intact for duplication with new. This is gonna take more time then I expected unfortunatly.

The suspension seat still needs cleaning after about 5 washings with dawn detergent, but I will lace it back up without the new foam and clean it the rest of the way by hand with chemicals to get the old glue residue off. I completely stripped the metal frame down to bare metal and repainted it.
 

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oldschool5er

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This is what the seat looked like underneath and what I wanted cleaned up. It could have been done without removing lacing but all in all it should have come apart anyway, it was an expensive mistake. It did not have to be as new restored just cleaned up, but now it will be done more completely and all new foam.

I had a hard time finding the right cord for lacing but finally found a seven layer marine cord rated at 550lbs that duplicates the original but not in white. A small detail but the orange against the yellow ballistic nylon suspension liner won't be within sight.
 

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oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
Before the seat fiasco I tore down my 091 core trans and the 002 3rib built by Dave Kreisler that came in the car. My core was original and had never been taken apart before so all of the components were low milage and I can use a lot of them in the new build. I will be changing the gearing from what was used with the Lee Leighton class 9 engine because of the bigger race engine going in as a legend class 1 car. The 091 will be going in set up with the new gearing and Weddle upgrades, but the Kreisler trans will be freshened up then shelved for the Lee Leighton class 9 engine. The ARPM cased engine I am using in my other car now is setup as dual dry sumped webers with airboxes, similiar to what was used back in the day when dual weber setups were raced on. The engine had pretty much all nos parts in it when I built it new a few years back and actually is a vintage race format to the years this car was a class 1. We are pulling it and putting in some more modern components to it, then back on the dyno. The results from that will determine how I want to change the intake setup but I expect I will go back to a centermount.
 

oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
I finished putting on new foam and completed the lacing. The outer Upholstery is next to go on then that finishes the original seat. The seat had never been apart since new so I duplicated the way it was laced up and the tension on the cords. I added an additional 2" in padding to what was original not shown in the pictures. I will seal the knots with glue as was the original. I expect they will need to be tightened up later after some miles. I put about the same tension on them as I found them and that was pretty tight like I could almost strum them like a guitar lol.
 

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oldschool5er

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The seat cover is finished, I wish the crotch belt had not left a shadow, but I think replacing the cloth just for that is not really going to matter since the cloth is in such good shape after cleaning. Vinyl was in perfect shape also after cleaning.
 

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oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
I have been funneling the front and rear arms over to my metal shop so I can weld in the double shear plates on the rear arms and move the front shock mount forward a bit. This was the color I found on the rear arm before I vapor blasted it for welding and the powder coat. I was going round and round on the colors just because of matching for the skins has not been decided yet. The history of it with green and white skins when it was a class 1 as it was raced under the South Africa banner, or one of the two color schemes when Kruger and Lester raced it. I decided to stick with the original schemes from Kruger/Lester years as they had a lot of history with it and makes sense to keep it as they raced it or as close as possible. The arms were gold so it will be that way again as I feel I should not change it.

Thanks to Dave Collins for his first hand account to me as he did confirm Sarel van de Merwe was the driver when it was flying the Kreepy Krauly lettering and that the car had been shipped from South Africa for the Mint 400. Norm Lester had given me the details relating to Sarel he knew based on when they picked the car up from Ivan, he is getting more info on it. Dave actually met Sarel and his wife when the car was going through prep at Chenowth after it was shipped back here, and he went through the Mint contingency with them. I think some of the original green coloring stayed with the car when it was sponsored by Executive Air Charter before the black scheme was used, so the gold I found kinda makes sense.
 

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oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
Cleaned and blasted the original Jamar Brake masters which had 30+ years of brake fluid sludge. New kits from Kartek and a fine quick hone. Brake pedal will have some grip points added to it as it was just a rubber pad which for me is not good when it gets muddy or wet.
 

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