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July 31, 2006


Infestation liquidation

Oh it was horrid. I have the interior out of the car. The ants seemed to like the driver's foot area, blanketing it. There's also still some mud daubers about. I don't mind them so much as i wish they'd just find another home. I guess I have to kill them.
Ha Ha! ....
... i mean
poor little daubers.

I cleaned the first story of grime off. There seem to be several stories. I pinched one of Sean's Fickerpics showing the snail/slug-trails. The trails are the semi-clean squiggly do-dads.

I got rid of the squiggles.
The white single stage paint allowed for that. There's still small units of slurm dark matter attached to the metal though.

The car needs sanded, disassembled, cleaned, sanded, painted... and sanded.... and painted. Oh, and reassembled somewhere in there. And sanded and painted.

It's pretty straight though.

It was hit real hard once. The driver's door was once on a red car. There's some window glass under the carpet too.
The driver's door jamb is cracked.
The lower door sill is cracked and starting to rust at the crack.
The personally interpreted paperwork says the left side lower unibody-frame-rail is pushed back about 1/8" (cross caster is off causing an alignment pull).

i hope to fix all of that. I haven't used my portable frame press in a long time.... hope it still works.
Welder works anyway, and so does my slide hammer :)

So, it sure looks better.
Nice and clean-ish.
Sean laid out some ant killing powder.
The ants like it and bring it home, killing them all.
Ha Ha!
poor little ants.

July 30, 2006

Little GTX

I just bought another car. This makes eight. I think I need an intervention.

I'm going to fix it up and bring it to the $2006 Challenge sponsored by Grassroots Motorsports. That's a bit of a challenge in itself. Scott will help me (or I will help him) quite a bit, and since Carlotta is bringing her GTX to the Challenge as well, we can be Team 646.

I uploaded a ton of photos to Flickr. Enjoy:


(just click on the next picture to see it. Flickr is fun!)

July 29, 2006


I took the tank out of the buick today.

I smell like gasoline. Ick.

I hooked the plastic tank up for very temporary use, just to still be able to move the car around. There's still a lot of work to be done to get it ready for the heat.

July 27, 2006


Pher and i changed her clutch today.
93 Nissan pickup 4cy.
Pher took lots of pics.

Me getting started, searching for tiny sockets.
We got the transmission out.

I checked out the clutch plate. It was same as most worn out clutches. The engine side was kinda OK. The transission side was shot down to the rivets.
The 2 parts in the pic are replaced, plus others.

There was icky stuff everywhere. it looked to me like the rear main seal was shot. It was cheap and available, so we replaced it. While the flywheel was out, i polished it. I saw no need to pay to have it turned or replaced, and have had no problems doing it this way.

The pilot bushing came out without issue... cool.

Pher took a pic of me staring blankly at the new clutch plate hanging off the installation tool (came with kit). I'd shave my head if it wasn't so lumpy ;)

It started raining after lunch. I got the trans back in, but my legs got soaked so we took a break before finishing up. Pher enjoyed thoroughly Sean's new big screen projector, watching both Futurama, and Venture Brothers :).

The rain let up and we got it all back together. After much issue with flushing the clutch hydraulic fluid, it was time to let it down.

The clutch is way better. Pher took a sec to get used to it again. oops.

July 26, 2006

more miata springs

now I have 2 boxes of OE Miata springs.
8 coil springs.

I guess i should make something out of them.

Bryan's 06 Miata is white. Otherwise it looks very much like Steve's. No pic.

July 25, 2006


Every once in a great while things get too out of hand and i can't find any more tools.
I was once extremely organized with my tools, believe it or not.
Anyway, now i'm not.
In fact, I somehow lost a complete cased 1/2" drive tool set sometime in the past few years.

Soooo, unrelated... I have a spring job coming tomorrow.


mmm actuallly.... OK truthfully,
'cause i like ya....
I need to be very organized in a couple weeks for when i pull the Honda engine,
so i started today.
Last saturday i coudn't even dig out air tools it was so bad.

This's for my Mom.

I set many sockets on one cart, and one small set of wrenches on another. Maybe this way they'll stay semi-organized.... doubt it.

I'm about halfway there... maybe only almost halfway.


Lewis and Geneva came by today with their 1983 C10. This one is also a diesel, like her other truck, and it also has an overdrive transmission... which is slipping and skipping.
We drove it around some, and checked out an oil leak. They fed me lunch at Mojoe's :)
We also changed the oil sending unit (gauge read way high).
Lewis is looking into replacement transmissions.
He's done a ton of work to this truck since they got it.

Pher's Nissan truck's clutch is going out, so I might do that soon.
Wednesday I'm doing more lowering springs on another new Miata.

Mom's visiting in a couple weeks. I get to re-seal the engine in her Honda (rear main+).

July 23, 2006

sock stuffing

we did a bunch of stuff to the Buick today.
Vern got some acetylene torch work done too.

I found out that a derby car trick to raise the bumper height is to stuff the shock skirts with socks... so we're using socks to simulate amplitude. How cool is that?

The rear shocks on this car have a skirt over the shock piston which after stuffed full of socks raised the car at least an inch. Wow.
We might get a couple more in there after these get deflated. The goal of course is to get the shocks fully extended so the car is at full ride height... as allowable by derby rules.

Unfortunately the front shocks have no skirt, so no stuffing can be done. We like them just the same. I'm not sure why, but i know it's so. A way can be found nevertheless.

July 22, 2006

rubber or plastic?

I've seen worse.
These two pictures are of valve cover gaskets.
The first pic is of a new gasket, fresh out of box.
The 2nd pic is of one that's old and brittle... and leaking.
At least it came out of the cover in one piece. I didn't have to chisel it out.

Hopefully this will take care of my sister Edith's oil leak problems.
Posing in the pictures is Antny, Edith's man.
If you can't see him, click on the pic.

July 21, 2006


I have suggested (not recently) to Sean that he might want to buy this product for his Lucas wired British car.

It was on Ebay a while back, but it seems to be rare.

The Austin is fully wired by Lucas. The headlights display the awe inspiring LUCAS medallian.

Lucas is also known as the "Prince Of Darkness" and the inventor of intermittant wipers... and headlights.
Also the inventor of the 3 position wiper...
On, Off & Smolder.

More lucas jokes are available anywhere power is available.
Please visit this UK page, which fully describes all Lucas lighting technology.
sorry, had to replicate.

BTW, I recently found out that most people like to be made fun of. Good to know. T-G for standardized resting.

July 20, 2006

The Austin's high

2 more pics

July 19, 2006

engine drop


close up 768x576
top view 768x576
side view 768x576

Now i just have to use the engine hoist to lift the car up about another foot, and roll the engine/trans out from underneath.

July 18, 2006


Vic came over with volvo problems.
The 'check engine' light was on, and the 'upshift' light was flashing... weird because it has an automatic transmission.
It had given her some acceleration problems, which seemed to have gone away... maybe bad gas?

Anyway, both lights went off after I disconnected/reconnected the battery. It ran and shifted fine. The trans fluid looks like it needs changed.

The engine light came on again.

I got to use Sean's OBDII tester, which his friend made. It didn't work well on the Volvo. It wont work at all on Fords. It works well on many other cars though.
On this Volvo, the code would clear itself before I could scroll down to find out what was causing it. The tester was showing eratic readings. After clearing the code a few times with the tester though, the light quit coming back.

So I don't know why it was lit. prob'ly a misfire code.
If it comes back on, i told her to go to Autozone where they have a more reliable tester.
They can tell her the code, and then i can try to figure out why it set.
They wouldn't test it before because it's pre 96, and so they assume their tester wont hook up to the diagnostic link.
I told her to correct them, or tell them it's a 96 until they get the tester plugged in.

In 1996 the On Board Diagnostic link was made uniform for all cars, mandatory (OBD II). Volvo started in 1994. Victoria's is a 95.

The older (OBD I) cars all have different diagnostic links, so the testing equipment is more expensive.... you need a cabinet full of wires if you want to be able to test more than one year/make/model. Most places don't have that equipment, or charge to use it.
I used to use a Snap-On tester which cost the shop owner about $1500 for the tester, plus about $45 per connector. We had maybe 15 connectors for the most common models at the time. I don't work there anymore though. On some of those cars you can read the codes through a series of blinks of the CEL/MIL, if you know how to get it to blink.
Your basic OBDII tester costs maybe $150 and works on ALL post96 cars, and apparently post94 volvos.
The tester I have here was free. It wont communicate well with some cars :(

July 16, 2006

super wireless happy lucky fun time

not much but an engrish.com style title, courtesy of the awsome sean korb, aka spkorb.

I know you've all been anxiously awaiting weekend news.

We did some derby car work. Vern came over on saturday. Sean and Vern worked on a bunch of stufff.
I recall Sean, bumper shocks, shop press, and plasma cutter, but it gets alittle fuzzy. There was much painting done before I woke up, and plenty of other important details left to the driver.

i was a little tired and greasy after fixing an engine mount.... yes fixing, not replacing... sort of fixing anyway...
A broken mount is to be replaced normally, but under derby contract, it must be fixed. No pics, sorry.
Sandwiched between two metal plates is a piece of rubber. The assembly is considered a mount. It was broken. The rubber and metal bond separated long ago, and upon acceleration the durn engine lifted about 4 inches from the driver's side.

I took a lesson from my bro, and "fixed" it. A hole drilled through all 3 parts with a carrriage bolt to hold them was the trick. Yayyyy!

The little V6 still has no power, but it'll stay in place.

Then I got Vern hooked on the air tools.
He'd been doing grunt work by hand before. Now he waits around for the air line to free up. Good thing 'cause it's hot enough to fry cancer cells out here. i know I feel better.
he took out both inner fenders and quite a bit of other things. You can see the wheels from the engine compartment now. We'll maybe have some pics sometime.

So that was Saturday.

Sunday Sean braced up the Austin so it can hold up to being lifted and spun on a rotisserie.
He cut some square stock out and shaped it to fit where the doors were, and we spent a little time drilling holes to bolt them in between the door jambs. The holes will need filled back in later.
Now I have no fear to lift the body up over the drivetrain to remove the latter. Personally, I thought the Austin's chassis was plenty stiff anyway, even given the rust, but it's better to be safe.
Sean had an Italian convertable fold up on him once in similar circumstance. He was only twelve though... must've scarred him for life ;)

....... oh yeah, we got the wireless internet now too :)
more Sunday Sean Initiative.

July 12, 2006


here's a couple pictures on the slow progress of the wee car.
the engine and trans are about ready to come out. I disconnected all the engine wires, hoses, and linkages (linkages?.. that sounds funny... link aj ez.. ).
i just need to disconnect the 3 mounts, driveshaft, and exhaust pipe to drop them and lift the body up to roll the engine/trans out... about 12 bolts. It sounds easy ;)
Sean thinks they'll fit in the shed. I'm sure the bolts will.



more derby car

i messed with the buick a little more today.
i welded on the doors a little to get the inner/outer panels together at the top.
i also messed with the ign. timing a little.
it seems to run a bit better and cooler, with no adverse symptoms so far.

i might screw with the broken motor mount tomorrow.

July 9, 2006

flat black

Vern did some more painting
View image
View image

I had to add one more wire so vern could adjust the power seat
View image

Vern did some more work on trying to make sure he wont get hurt in the heat, and we worked on the cooling system a little.
..new bypass hose, gutted the thermostat, and he taped up the radiator hoses real purty
View image
The tape actually serves as a reinforcement to the hoses.

I think the car is running hot, so maybe i'll try to find out why.... but Vern says it only has to run for 5min or so before it gets too smashed to move anyway... :)

July 8, 2006

we dont need no stinkin' wires

Man that buick had a lot of wire!
Luckily, it was built before the computer did much more than moniter the systems and adjust timing and mixture. We need neither for a Derby Car!

We removed all of the air conditioning and heater parts, to get rid of the big plastic box next to the hot engine. View image

Sean cut and welded in a metal "A/C delete plate", made from an old home heater box, to cover up the HUGE hole in the firewall. View image

I removed about a mile of wiring, the fuse box, the computer, and all wires not directly related to starting, running, and charging.
The battery still needs relocated to the inside, so the 2 wires for that, and 1 for the alternator are still in place.

The rest of the monster wiring from hell (I missed my chance to take a picture of the harness which took up an entire full sized garbage bag) got reduced to four wires. YAYYY!

I have 2 power wires coming from B+ on the starter to two switches inside. Sean bought a light switch for about 40ยข which is hooked up to one, then to the ignition system. The other power wire is connected to a momentary switch i conned Sam out of a while back, and goes to the starter solenoid. The switches are in a box next to the driver. Cool. View image

Flip switch on, press button, drive car.
The original ign switch was removed, and the steering lock welded in the unlocked position.
And it works! even cooler.
14+volts once reve'd for those in 'the know'

Lots of other stuff was going on which i wasn't so involved in. Vern was doing all sorts of things all over, and started on learning how to use the mig welder.
Right now, he's outside doing a little painting. View image

oh, here's where the fuse box was... View image
now it's another hole in the firewall, though small this time.

I'm having a few bumper stickers made up. Vern might run this one if it comes out well:

July 7, 2006

The Toyota Saga.

Many years ago I traveled to New Orleans to put struts on my sister's Toyota. It was a difficult job, and the spring compressor I brought with me wasn't up to the task.

Toyota struts are unlike most others. They make you line up a notch in the rod with the upper seat. This is difficult to get right even with the right compressor. It's not enough to compress the spring enough to get the threads of the nut on. One must compress it enough to get the whole shaft through, and line up the notches. what a bitch.

Back then, Antny and I paid a visit to the local Midas shop, who let me use their Branick strut compressor. I thought it all worked out fine. I was wrong.

The right strut has been nothing but trouble. I installed it around the turn of the century (sounds more dramatic), and a year or so ago it started making lots of noise. I had to retighten the cartridge (it's like a shock absorber that fits down into the strut body).

That helped, but it still made a clunk once in a while, mostly if you turned one direction hard, and then the other... clunk.

I had a hunch the spring seat wasn't lined up right. I was right, but I had to take it apart to find out, then put it back together until i got the parts.

It was my fault that the notches weren't lined up, years ago. I tried to line them up, but failed utterly.

Anyway, today, with Edith's help, and using my new spring compressor, I fixed it with a new spring seat from the dealer, and a new strut cartridge. The cartridge might have been under waranty, but with no receipt ...probably washed into the gulf... i paid for it. Now the receipt is in the glove box, where i hope it stays, maybe to be joined by other receipts and put in a folder... hint, hint.
edit: ~7/20 E&A paid me for the washed strut cartridge.
They're so awsome.

picture of old vs. new spring seat/notch

pic of new vs. old strut rod/notch

July 4, 2006

Derby derby derby derby!

Vern and I went to Wendell to grab the Gooole (Pontiac 6000 LE) from the shop. It's all done, but it's taking up space, so we made off with it and put it in Vern's parent's yard. They're very understanding :) Photo essay after the jump.



Derby and friends



New Yorker

Raffle back

Real Estate



Leetle tires

Ready to go


What's the diff?

Vern, Scott and I were working on the demo derby car over the weekend, and we got the windows out, the differential welded and the bumpers off.

First, I pulled the C-clips out and the axles. Then I removed carrier assembly from the axle housing. I need to weld the spider gears together, but I don't want to get any spatter on the assembly pin so I built a deflector to keep spatter off. I welded it in 8 places to lock the spider gears together.

The reason for doing this is kind of complicated. Since we're going to be in dirt at the derby, if we only had traction to one wheel, we'd get stuck pretty quickly and lose the match. Welding the gears together keeps equal torque to both wheels, so if one wheel gets stuck, the other wheel will get you unstuck. Why would you ever want wheels that could get you stuck in the first place? We'll have to get over to the How Stuff Works page for that. I love those guys!

For my vainity, here's a picture of me in filthy filthy axle grease. Filthy

July 1, 2006

fuel gauge

I made the Celica's fuel gauge work.

I had to take out the back seat to check the sending unit

and i had to remove the instrument cluster from the dash, to check wires and to check the gauge

then Antny and i went to the salvage yard for a new gauge cluster

Now Ditha knows how much fuel is in her car... and as a bonus her car registers 26xxx miles less than it did before (cluster came from a car with less miles).


Hendrik and his Bug
they had a loose steering rod
mechanic make well

I suck at haiku.

Anyway, I replaced the left outer tie rod end on the Beetle.
The nut wouldn't come off the old one, so I had to chisel it.
The threads were gone, and the nut was just spinning.
It was all very exciting.


It's been brought to my attention that i have pictures which could do justice in another category.... \see Main links at right for catagories. This one goes in 2000 Sportster.

not registered. not driven.
It did spend several years in the living room.
Maybe i'll find a pic of that.

i wanted to fill these categories in though. We'll have to get the Pantera next. It sees more than enough stage time to at least get posted within its own listing.

just my size hugger