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October 30, 2006

Demo Derby

Leadfoot mashed up her car a week ago. Watch here:


October 28, 2006

Saturday 10/28

Sean and Carlota went down to Florida for the race.
Sean was sans vehicle when he left.

The 323 was uncooperative.
We worked our butts off.
He halfheartedly tried to start the Suprang, but it looks like the coil went bad while sitting.

The 323, after enjoying us doing 4 days work in a day, decided to have no spark, and a shifting problem.

The no-spark seems to have healed itself now.
I think the ECU is based on one of Bill Gates ideas from the early 80's.
As long as all wires are connected overnight, w/o being disconnected/reconnected after trying to start... it then starts and runs fine.
The IGN Coil negative wire goes from a full 5V to properly grounded overnight. Go figure.
According to the wiring diagram Sean bought for his car, the only possible power source I can see to this wire with the IGN key off is from the ECU. The current flow normally goes the other way.
Once it decides it prefers the ground, it runs fine.

So I guess it's opposite from BillyG's. You have to leave it hooked up. Draining out the electrons and re-booting has a depressing effect. Try/fail and let it go into sleep mode for a few hours and it's fine. Maybe it's MAC based ;)

Now i also remember that this thing was blowing IGN fuses when we first got it, then suddenly quit that. WTF?

not sure on the shifting problem yet. maybe got water in the trans while washing... (hope).

other than that, i went out to Chatham County today to work on the brakes of a couple Hondas. Dogs, cats, and chickens took interest, and it looks like the Firebird is getting close to 20mpg hwy. Wow (for a 1968 musclecar).

October 23, 2006

323 frame

I don't know if the 323 is gonna be ready for the race this weekend.
We've been kinda busy, and Sean still wants to get some painting done.
Plus, the new steering knuckle and inner tie rod were only just sent out today via US post.
Sean leaves Thursday morning, with or without the Mazda.

We can get by without the knuckle and rod I think.
I worked on the frame some today.
It broke my 4ton 'portapower' hydraulic ram. What a mess.

I bought a 10ton.
View image

The frame seems to be moving somewhat in the right direction now, but i wont have time to work on it tomorrow. I'm by no means a frame mechanic with a frame rack anyway.

I welded some stock to the frame in a couple places and am slowly spreading it. It's gonna be as close as I can get it, which hopefully is closer than what the last guys got after the accident. It measured about 1/2" back from where it was supposed to be... near as we'uns could figure ;)
I've got it pretty near now I think.

Sean has wednesday off, so if we can both clean up the car enough for some paint, AND get the engine and transmission back in, it might be OK to go.

October 22, 2006

countdown to ignition

I went to the demo-derby last night.
State fairs make me feel icky.
Heck, most things make me feel icky.
Cars crashing on purpose is cool though.

Unfortunately, Vern's cars weren't in the events last night as promised. They were changed to the 2pm heat today. I didn't go. I hope Sean has pics.

I went out to Cary to change Carlota's ignition switch in her Mazda 323. and i forgot to bring my camera.
Last time she put her key in, the switch stuck in the 'on' position, and held her key hostage.

Her new keys say Ford on them... sigh.
I've done a few of these on the Escorts, so at least I remembered to bring my drill.
BTW, just to clarify, her AWD TURBO car is way cooler than any Escort, even if they do share a lot of parts.

Now that it starts again, she can drive it down to Gainsville and the GRM $2006 challenge race next weekend.

I just remembered.... I think it's s'posed to be illegal to work on cars in Cary (except auto shops of course).
I'm livin' on the edge baby!

October 21, 2006

Mr. Hanky

The Mazda truck is all done and gone.
It has a bit of a stumbly fuel issue sometimes at warmed idle, but it drives well.
A rebuilt engine does not a new truck make :(

I'm hoping it'll clear up with some new gas and maybe some fuel system cleaner.
It might need a new "idle air control" valve.
I replaced the fuel filter, and some of the sensors which tell the computer when/how much fuel it needs, but there's still old parts. I love it when a plan comes together.

update: Soon after this it stalls sometimes. EGR solenoid went bad-new parts and old parts synchronizing I guess. Solenoid fixed it. No more stumble.

Anyway, today i got to do a wheel bearing on Mr. Hanky.

Mr. Hanky is the 1982 Honda Civic Wagon which i convinced my brother-in-law Antny to buy when he was looking for a car.

It also has some weird fuel issues sometimes, but it gets excellent mileage and is very reliable.
It has a very complicated carburetor setup. I much prefer fuel injection for diagnosing.

So... ummm... oh yeah. Wheel bearing....
The RF wheel was roaring, so we decided to change the bearing before it got worse and lost a wheel. I'm glad i have a shop press.

This type of bearing can be a chore to replace. First ya gotta get the knuckle off the car, which in itself is pretty involved. I have a slide hammer so i used it first to remove the wheel hub for inspection. If the hub was bad, the job would have to be put off until one could be located. It doesn't come with the bearing on this car.

The hub was fine. The inner bearing race had some rough spots causing the noise, but not so bad that it ruined anything else. whew.

Knuckle then gets transported to the bench vise to remove some seals and a snap ring, then over to the shop press. Press the old bearing out with an assortment of makeshift press accessories, and press the new bearing in using part of the old bearing... and an assortment of makeshift press accessories.

There's a tool kit out now to do this w/o a press, while the knuckle is on the car, but it's expensive, and doesn't really make it much easier on this model anyway.

I used to do these with just a vise and a hammer... and a torch to get the old bearing out. Torturous.

Everything went pretty smooth. I only had to take it back apart once ;)
I forgot to put the dust shield back on before I put the hub on. D'oh.
Don't really need this dust shield, but I like having it.

It's all back together now. No more roaring noise. HOORAYY!!!

Someday, if i'm lucky, this car might belong to me.

October 18, 2006


i just got done with the first test drive of the mazda truck. It drives like the ford ranger it is.

I worked on it about 12hrs today. I'm all icky all over.
I saw Sean off to work this morning, and was almost done when he got home.

Here's a pic from this morning of the engine's bottom end. I attached most of the top end parts, and flipped it over to put on the oil pump, pump screen, and pan.
View image

This afternoon i plopped the engine in place, and set about finishing the job.
View image
In this pic i have the heater hoses backwards... d'oh! It didn't take long to figure that one out.

By the time Sean got home from work, i was about ready to start it, and seat in the new camshaft. I ate first :)
After running about 1/2hr per the instructions, Sean helped me put the hood on. I got the shifter on and a few other things while the cam was seating.

I have to drive it around some more tomorrow, and change the oil again. I'll take a few pics of it as its finished product, if I feel up to it.

October 17, 2006


It was too wet to do much on the truck today. i didn't want any water in the new engine, and even with a tent it was unsatisfactorily wet out there.
Tomorrow I'll try to get an early start and get as much done as possible.

Today I tried cleaning out the oil pan and valve cover. The pan still needs some work. Ick.

i stopped at the parts store and got the rest of the new parts I'll need (hope that's all anyway). Most of these were required by the engine builder to be replaced in order to keep the warranty. Some were just bad or in poor condition.
I got quality name brand parts where I could. "Duralast" is autozone's housebrand, and I've found it usually of equal or superior quality to "carquest" and "napa" house brand in most instances. A lot of duralast parts look like they're actually ACDELCO parts reboxed.

October 12, 2006

The Blob

i never thought I'd see flowing engine oil stand still enough to catch on film.
Remember the movie "The Blob"?
I tried to drain the oil, and figured either it already had been done, or it had run dry. None came out.

lo and behold, off comes the pan, and there's about a quart of blob in the pan.
View image

I got the rest of the parts off the old engine, swapped a few to the new one, and took the old core back for credit to order all the other new stuff required. View image

Sean and I leave for Iowa tomorrow and come back Mondy evening I think. I hope to have another post Tuesday with the truck almost ready to roll.

Pantera mufflers and wheels

poor italian car has no official entries under its heading. It's a push button Pantera.

Sean put some Cobra rims on it recently, and we put some new mufflers on it.
he took pics and posted them to Flickr, but never posted here.

I'll link to his flickr account, and you can click around if you like. i'm in there welding a bit.
old muffins
new muffins

October 11, 2006


I got most of the parts off the old engine.
I like pickups because there's plenty of room to put stuff.

I got the valve cover off and decided i wanted to try to see how bad off this cam is.
The odometer has over 200,000 miles on it.

Using a 4lb sledge, I forced the cam forwards far enough to pop it from its journals and see the wiped out journal and bearing.
There's a lot of sludge in here too. I imagine the rest of the engine isn't far behind this wiped cam.

anyway, pics after the jump.


October 10, 2006

94 B2300

In this corner, weighing in at over a ton......

This poor truck has a seized camshaft and some other problems looking related to overheating and/or oil starvation. I don't really know the story.
I ordered a rebuilt engine today at the request of the owner.
It should be here sometime Thursday.

Sean and I are going to Iowa this weekend (fri-mon).

I hope to have this truck done early to mid next week.

This truck looks very similar to the 99 i was working on, but there are a lot of subtle differences, including different bolt sizes for the trans, and a different cross brace.
Anyway, i spent most of the day getting the engine ready to pull, and managed to get it pulled all the way out in time to stop for the day.

It's going to need several new parts which dont come on the replacement... bad/missing on this one, or can't/shouldn't be reused on a rebuilt engine.
The majority of external parts get reused though, so I have to spend some of tomorrow pulling off these old-to-be-reused parts.

October 4, 2006

Mazda hiccup

I finally got done with the Mazda pickup.

Now I get to work on the Mazda pickup.

October 2, 2006

B2500 almost done

I wish i could count on one hand the number of times this transmission's been pulled.
Regardless, it will be done soon.

I picked up a good used trans.
I'm waiting for another new clutch to replace the first new clutch under warranty (don't ask).

I won't hold Sean O. responsible for my mistake. It's not his fault I pulled the trans so many times to finally find the real problem.

I have a similar truck coming in soon for an engine. It's just a few years older. That should go more smoothly.
I think I'll drop the trans before i pull the engine. I'm pretty fast at it by now. smiley.gif

salvage b2500trans search failure

Ant and I went to the salvage yard today to look for a trans.

It's a U-Pull-It yard.
$2/per to get in.
No phone info.
Little other info.

We lucked out that they had a special on transmissions today.
me and Ant wandered for a long time.

No trans to be found, save one i could put my foot through from a crumply-round truck.
Lots of vehicles with missing transmissions though.

Ant also looked for a Plenum Snorkel for his Celica. lots of Celicas. All red. None compatible.

All in all I made out OK, but will always feel guilty for it.
A Fellow Dumbass left his 13mm snap-on wrench and a special pencil on one of the Fords.
I feel compelled to hold these items until the owner can claim them.

P.S. if F.Dumbass is reading, you may reclaim them,
you have to come get them, offer proof, and either
share beer,
relieve guilt, or offer a curse
(curse option is for gypsies only- i prefer beer).