Saturday, February 28, 2009

AE86 Tip #86-6: Cool Strut

Illustration of a :en:Simple harmonic oscillatorImage via Wikipedia

Replacing the struts with new inserts, it's a good idea to add some oil/antifreeze into the housing. Some of you maybe thinking WTF is this B.S. The idea of this is too keep the insert cool. The fast oscillations of the suspension creates a lot heat inside of strut. There is only air between the strut insert and the actual strut housing. So heat can't escape efficiently. If you ever seen a some discoloration on your shock shaft, that is an indication of heat building up in the shock. At first I used to use antifreeze as the cooling medium. Then I notice fluid loss when I open up the strut for some service. Probably due to evaporation. So i've switched to using oil, specifically ATF, as the main cooling medium. It doesn't evaporate and it just sits on the shelf most of the time.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Run Wild

What happens when you watch too many war movies and one too many beers.

A kabob holder.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Speaker upgrade

Since the upscale sound system on the Corolla is already clicking over 20 years old. The sounds coming from the speakers are also sounding it's age. Luckily for me these were recovered from the Red Brick Volvo.

Since they are the same size as the Corolla rears they fit in the OEM housing i didn't have to do any mods. Which is definitely a plus for a car I want to keep stock. Now my drives are much more enjoyable. Doesn't get any better than that.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, February 22, 2009

R.I.P. Larry H. Miller

Most of you may not know this guy. I didn't really have a clue up until a few days ago, reading AutoBlog. Yet there was a small connection I had with him. Though I never met the man personally, I guess he does have a passion for motor racing. He's the man responsible for the creation of Miller Motorsports Park. Definitely one of my favorite tracks I had the opportunity to drive last summer. Yet there was more to this man besides motorsports as I learned more about him. Let's take some time to remember this great man and his life at this link.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, February 19, 2009

President's Day preebie

President's Day was very wet and very cold. I braved the day to head out to San Diego and pick up some doors. Since they were free I just couldn't resist. Though the time and gas money to get out there, I could have probably have gotten some doors at the yard. But I think of it this way. I didn't get my hands dirty. The guy even tossed an extra fender, can't get any better than that don't you think?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Project Volvo #6: Valentine's Day Plunder

A beautiful day to work on cars, at least get some stuff done before the rain storm decides to hamper the weekend. Even Naoki K. agreed, delaying Valentine's day to swing by and work on the Doom Wagon. I myself haven't really worked on the Volvo much after I got it running but it seems to be falling apart on it's own. So let's begin the plunder of Swedish engineering.

When the car first arrived I didn't find any cool guns or drug paraphenalia, but then again I never really dug deep inside the car. This time there was bunch of interesting crap that was found here and there. Let's look at what the former owner was like.

We know the previous owner loved Sam Adams and Bass. I hope not while driving, that's not very safe. It's also illegal.

He also loved french fries and

horse racing. Maybe at the same time but who knows. Though there is a note with a pin number. Maybe to a million dollar account?

He was even an audiophile, equipping the vehicle with some Pioneer speakers. I decided to excercise the finders keepers rule. More on these babies later.

One thing I liked about the car is how quiet and solid car feels. I guess the 3 layers of sound deadening will do it.

Valentines Day at Taco BellImage by thezeras via Flickr

He also was a great believer of good personal hygiene.

In the end about .53 cents was recovered. Sounds like it's time for some 39 cent taco at Taco Bell. mmm delicious.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, February 15, 2009

AE86 Tip #5: Head Bolts

During my occasional ventures into the garage where abnormal things seem to come together. One thing I've happen to come across is using 20V head bolts into 16V. I don't know if this blasphemy or just me being cheap.

Here's a pic of 4AG head bolts.

As you notice the 20V is a tad thicker than the 16V counter. Does this mean stronger? Unfortunately I do not have ARP bolt for comparison.

I tried to fit it into the engine but they were too long. To make fit engine correctly, it must cut down to correct size. Don't know if it's even worth to try, since 20V head bolts are available only in markets where 20v engines are offered. It's probably easier to just use ARP bolts since they are readily available.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, February 13, 2009

What is Alto

Alto, if you're a Macross Frontier fan then you'd probably be thinking Alto Saotome. Yeah, i'm a big Macross and Robotech fan, but that's a story for another blog another time. But for the Japan car nut, think cars. Think Suzuki, some of you may already be thinking 'I thought they made motorcycles?' If you're from a different country then some of you are probably familiar with this model.

A while back I was able to take a ride in a Suzuki Alto. I never heard of such a vehicle until that day. Reason being is that it's a car that is not sold for U.S. consumption. Powered by a 3 cylinder, yes 3. Which equates to 1.0 liter of madness. This would have a been a big seller during last summers gas crunch. With 7 a gallon tank, it can take you ~250miles according to its driver. But i'll let you do the

You may think it must be slower than molasses in the middle of winter. But in acutality it's not bad at all. Due to the really thin sheet metal making this car really light. With that a weaker chassis and vibration is evident. The size of Alto is slight larger than a Smart car because it's got 2 extra doors. If it were up to my I'd have a special edition built for the canyon circuit enthusiasts.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Grip Day 2: Almost but not quite

A very wet saturday was supposed to be the Drift Associations 1st Grip Day event at Horsethief Mile located inside Willow Springs Raceway. If you like short courses, or touge style track then this track is for you. I've been 2 months without driving an event so it's about time I got my fix. Unfortunately it was cancelled due people flaking because of the wet weather. Since I was there, I took advantage of the situation and took a couple of snaps. You know I need to get my $10.00 worth.

For the few core drivers that stuck it out, the balcony was open for drivers. For a fee, they were able to burn up tires any way they please.

I did spot what looks like Tanner Foust driving a Toyota Supra on Streets, another one of my favorite tracks or maybe it's just his helmet. A jack of all trades when it comes to driving. From what I hear, he'll be driving a RWD Scion TC this season of drifting.

A Ford GT 40 adored in Gulf colors was romping at the big track. It looked very at home on this track. I heard that it even decided to go off course and get some air. That must hurt, kudos for it's owner bringing it out in the less than ideal conditions to stretch it's legs.

There was at least one Corolla keeping the spirit alive.

Oh and this one too. People need to get their weekend fix not matter what they drive.

During the course of the day it just got really cold and I decided to call it a day.

And I ran into this cloud full of water. It was a tad wild on the way home.

Go here for more pics
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, February 6, 2009


Just received a set of Cibie lights recently. Yes the French do something good besides good bread and ice cream. But not for the Corolla, but for the Mazda. Yes I own a Mazda, I haven't formally introduced RX-3, that'll probably come at a later date. But for now I just wanted to show off the new (to me), but used set of eyes for the RX-3. Oddly enough I bought them off a guy on the Volvo forums. And for a pretty good price I might add. Though I won't have time to work on the Mazda anytime soon, I just seem to be accumulating parts every now and then. I just want to fall into the trap of working on too many cars and then going broke cause my weak check is being spread thin.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Project 740 #5: Great idea... not.

With Grip Day coming up this weekend, I wasn't sure if I wanted to run the stocker since the forecast that weekend was rain. Then I had a great idea. Why not run this Volvo that's taking up a parking spot and pissin' oil all over the street. It would be a great shake down of the car

So I began with constructing a battery hold down. Not too shabby for about 10 minutes of work and some spare parts in the garage.

Unfortunately, the next thing I did put a halt on that idea. Since the car is still shod with one bald donut, it needed to be changed. There was a 14in spare located in the boot with a good tire. I guess 14in rims are a no no on these cars cause it's rubbing on the brake caliper. FYI these cars are equipped with 16in wheels.

Well scratch that idea and now we revert back to the original plan of running the ol' stocker.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The replacements

IVECO - SNAP ON - TRUCKImage by CARLOS62 via Flickr

Got some Snap on and Mac tools replaced recently. It really sucks that if you break a Snap on or other big branded tool, you can't them replaced as easily with other brands i.e. Craftsman. Usually, I end up sitting on them since i haven't really worked in the automotive industry for a few years. It's just a hassle to find a tool truck and beg the tool guy to replace it especially if he doesn't know you. Since he's not making money off you, he could care less. Sometimes i'm happy I have some Craftsman tools in the arsenal, so at least I break'em I can get them replaced anywhere there's a Sears and in no time so no time or money lost.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, February 2, 2009

Barrel of worms

Not just a bucket. I worked on the car this weekend, and it seems that the more i'm taking it all apart, the more stuff I find all dicked up. Just adding to the work load on top of all the other stuff I still need to fix.

Tension rod slightly bent. Luckily I had a spare one to compare or else i'd probably still use it.

I'm not a body guy so don't even try to criticize my work. I just need to get this thing together. But it doesn't look too bad don't you think? Still more pounding required, need to find a bigger sledge hammer.

Unfortunately, the spare strut housing is the wrong side, now i gotta look for another one. Even the one Steve c. had was wrong. This is not going as planned.

But here's the kicker, the shaft on the Koni shock is tweaked near the threads. Since Koni's are not cheap, just sucks I may have to write this one off. I wonder if I can get it repaired, or even if it's worth getting repaired.