October 22, 2007


The GTX is gone.
Sean took her to "The GRM $2007 Challenge" in Florida and sold her after the race.

The New2U truck he used to carry her there is actually a 1990 C1500, not an '88 as i posted earlier.
He was using it to haul derby cars for the state fair this past weekend when the fuel pump gave out and took the relay with it... and yes, both pump and relay crapped out at pretty much the same time (weird). It gave us a moment of panic when the new pump ran for just a second and quit. It's all fixed now, and he and Vic just got back from an extensive ...test drive...

I'll have a pic of us replacing the fuel pump as soon as i can get it from Sean (added after jump). We had to lift the bed off the frame. He also has some nice pictures of the derby and Vern driving. Maybe he'll post those to his Flickr or elsewhere. This pic might be similar to the well known "Why Women Live Longer Than Men" photo. We tipped the bed up sideways and held it there with a stick ;)

I hear that Vern got a trophy. Too cool. I hope Sparky will help him win a trophy too, but i don't know when she'll run (Sparky is Dreya's old '90 Lebaron, marked for demolition).

Continue reading "sold" »

March 13, 2007


this is not sean's mazda, just a similar one.

I guess I've neglected posting on this car for a while. I've been driving it alot while waiting for my Firebird parts. It's a great car. My sis and her hubby raced it a couple times. The speedometer is broken though. It has a digital speedometer, but still uses a cable.

It had been making an occasional strange whirring noise behind the dash, and then the speedo and odo meters quit working. I thought the cable snapped. nope. worse. Sean was driving it when it broke so it's not my fault ;-)

I took the gauge cluster out tonight to disassemble and inspect it... very interesting setup. It has the cable coming in and running the odometer in the old conventional way (the odo is an old style counter), but it also runs a tiny propellor through a hall effects switch. This switch works the digital speedometer. The assembly seized up. At least we don't need a cable... sigh.

I doubt a new speedometer head is available, and if it is, it's probably very expensive. A used one might work for a while. Unfortunately, since this seized, and the cable is fine, the plastic gear(s) inside the transmission probably shattered too. That's probably pretty cheap... but if the drive gear shattered I have to drop the trans (again)... Oh, BTW the shifting problem is sorted. Shifts fine.

So I judge speed off the tachometer.
According to the posted gear ratios, 65mph is just over 3000RPM in 5th gear. That seems about right for this car. 80mph is just under 4K RPM in 5th, not that i'd break the law. It'd also be nice to keep track of the mileage. No odo. I figure there's about 65K on the car now... reads about 062K.

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).

September 19, 2006

continue and click on images for full screen if desired

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September 18, 2006

Mazda 322.5

I'm getting ready to pull the engine on the Mazda. Once I get the hood off, i just have to pull the axles and hoist up the engine. The rest I disconnected today.

This car is bent.

I noticed some brake problems indicating bent parts, and the inner tie rod on the left is visibly bent.
The left door pillar is cracked, and in front of it is visibly bent.

Continue reading "Mazda 322.5" »

September 3, 2006

sunday, 9/3

I had to clear out some fuel turds from the Mazda. Each line dipping into the tank had about a 20x10mm cylinder of tar. That's 3 turds. One is now rolling around in the primary tank, 'cause i had no way to get to it other than blow-through with compressed air. It'll be fine. The car runs terrific, and the loud pump quieted down quite a bit once fuel started flowing.

We put some mufflers on the Pantera. I think somehow it produces higher decibles now, but at a lower frequency. It's a little quieter. The Mufflers still need a little tweaking to fit just right. Sean has pictures somewhere.

Today Lewis and Geneva are here to put a transmission in their red diesel. It should be fun.

August 24, 2006

eleven stampeding woodpeckers in tap shoes

I put a new fuel transfer pump in the Mazda today.
It's a simple in/out pump with 2 wires.
All it does is transfer fuel from one side of the tank to the other, and only when it needs to do so.

Sean bought a little universal pump for really cheap (like maybe $20)
The correct one is over $200 I think.

I asked Sean
"Why, if it's just this little simple device, is it so expensive for the correct one, and you can get one so cheap to do the same thing?"

He said
"Mazda probably chose that particular pump because it's quiet. Quiet costs more."

$200 apparently buys a lot of quiet.

Continue reading "eleven stampeding woodpeckers in tap shoes" »

August 22, 2006


Sorry it's been so long since my last post.
I've actually done quite a bit, just didn't take pics or feel much like writing.
I did a little brake work on the Pantera, and Sean put an electric choke on it.
I did some work on Julie's Civic, including removing a mouse who thought the interior HVAC fan was a good home... it needed a new blower motor after that.
I've been doing some work to the 'bird of course.
Prob'ly some stuff I forgot too.

And of course, the Mazda.

Continue reading "GTXited" »

August 5, 2006

Mom's Civic

The Mazda runs... barely. The fuel system is full of tar from old gasoline. I didn't say it runs well.
The ant infestation seems to be dissapating though.
It has a two part fuel tank for balance, and thus 2 fuel pumps. Ugh.
The main tank has old gas.
The secondary tank fuel appears even older... cloudy, and mixed with solvent... or some sort of injector cleaner which never made it to the main tank. The transfer pump is inoperable at this time.

Even so, somehow the 323 has earned an exhalted space in the garage, displacing the Pantera.
I can think of quite a few reasons why it's in there actually.
I just feel bad that the Pantera is outside braving the piercing trees, plagues of birds, cats, squirrels, and of course, the recently arising daubers looking for a home.

Continue reading "Mom's Civic" »

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.

Continue reading "GTXtermination" »

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!)