I've always been lazy when it came to the christmas tree. Putting up, displaying, and taking down the tree in the span of three weeks just plain sucks. Even though it's always been a family tradition for me, since I was a little runt, it seems to have flown by me. Now I think i've found a tree that I can be proud to put up every year. Have a great holiday!
Since deep blue is still on the premises, the owner requested the oem power steering setup to be installed. But before that could be done, I needed to redo the alternator bracket. This is how it arrived. It utilized a modified AE92 4AGZE bracket, a couple of bolts, some aluminum square tube and a stack of washers. The washers were used to adjust the tension. Now that the power steering setup will be added, the alternator will be solid mount.
For those who've done the GZE swap, that's supercharge engine in 4A talk, know that swapping the alternator to the other side is a necessity. Originally the alternator was located on the passenger side (referring to left hand drive cars). But since the supercharger (like the one posted in the above pic) is planted there, the alternator needs to move to the other side. One thing i've noticed is the way people wire their setups. The ones i've seen have always extend the exisiting wires. Which looks awfully cluttered. But there is another way, though a bit more work is involved, it's much nicer. And you know were all about nice.
Coming across a Mercedes diesels was always rare for me, with it's distinct sound emanating from it's exhaust under the hood to the distinct smell of burning diesel. I remember they were slower than molasses on a frigid winter morning. Few days ago a diesel Merc' stopped by for a visit. But it was just passing through.
While doing some fixing on the 'ol Mazda. Came across a card I got from the old street legal races at the Pomonadrag strip. It's one thing to go drag on the street, or a small facility like LACR (RIP). But to race at the famous home of the NHRA Winter Nationals is something else. Driving on the same track like famous pro driver like Don Garlits, John Force, etc. It's like a surfer, riding the biggest wave of his career, or a sports fanatic playing a game at his favorite stadium. Definitely top notch . Last I heard they don't do anymore street legal events there anymore, very sad.
Image via WikipediaI over the weekend I watched Zatoichi the Blind swordsman the last in the series of movies which began in 1962. I've pretty much seen all the films and always been a fan. This was number 26 in which Shintaru Katsu played the blind hero Zatoichi for the last time. It really didn't have a feel like his earlier movies, maybe it was the music. It sound like it should have been in a blackploitation film or something. But like many of the films good ol' Ichi san fights for the weak and kills the bad guys. Though it's much more bloodier than before. Unlike previous films, never really seen a drop of blood in the earlier movies. I guess it's the sign of times, being filmed in 1989, blood in movies was becoming more commonplace. But if you like Zatoichi movies you can catch them on hulu.com.
Many summers ago, I built a car that was a striking copy of this one. It was a good car and dead on reliable. Competing in local events for a few years with out a hint of issue and doing well I might add. But unlike this one, it got sold a few times and finally ended up racing in China. So what is this doppelganger doing over here? The owner is having quite a bit of issues with the setup so requested a bit of insight of what maybe wrong with it. Travelling 300 miles so I could tell him it was crap. Well not the latter, I would never do such things. So like a doctor to it's patient, it'll be under my watchful eye to correct the wrongs that have been done to it.
The 'ol RX3 rarely sees the light of day ever since i've been tweaking on the Corolla. Lately, I've been on downward spiral with the corolla, haven't driven it and rarely work on it. It feels like writers block or something (aka lazy). I think now is the perfect time to get something fixed that's been messed up since I took delivery of Old Yellow.
If you've got that job, that just requires something that's not in your arsenal of weapons, and you're short on cash to buy it from that Snap on guy. The only alternative is to modify an existing tool to suit ones purpose. This little gem was used to get those pesky bosch type fuel injection plugs. The ones with the wire clips, they're such a pain. A couple swipes with the grinder and we have a special tool. Now it's used quite a bit on other odd jobs. Definitely worth the sacrifice.
This is what was before it went under the grinder.
This past weekend, I swung by California Speedway, in the always beautiful town of Fontana. Actually, I was invited by former neighbors/ Lemons teammates, Mark and Noemi. They were racing a piece of crap in the Chump Car series. But I think their real mission was to torture me, by watching them race, since I haven't my R compounds haven't had any contact with tarmac for quite some time.
Every now and then cars show up with something wrong, simply cause the previous person who worked on the car didn't read directions or had a dyslexic moment. Like reversed head gasket install, or crossing ignition wires. Maybe I'm just becoming a grumpy old man who doesn't like screwing with another person's screw up. But when it comes to the installation of cylinder head studs. Should be an open and shut case right? Maybe most engines yes. Fortunately, 4AG needs a wee bit more attention to detail when installing.
Finally completed the W58 install. I know as I get older, things tend to slow down, but that was ridiculous. 4 freaking weeks to do?! But then I've just being super lazy lately. It came down to finishing the hand made bracket. I should have been last weekend but was side tracked. So It ended being half done.
Got a chance to watch tje movie Blind Fury. Since it's like an americanized version of the uber cool Zatoichi movies, I needed to sit down and watch. Can't say I really liked it much. The story wasn't worth mentioning fight scenes were o.k. But may i'm just too biased because i'm too much of a fan of Zatoichi. But if it's on t.v and you got time i'd say watch cause you never know if you'll like it.
This has been going at a real snails pace. Cars been up on jacks for 3 weeks now and I still have not finished. Being a nitpick really doesn't help here either. But since i decided to re-envision the transmission mount, it's taking another weekend of thinking and sketches.
Last epsisode, I was left hanging with the incorrect drive shaft. So I tried searching the net, for some leads on a driveshaft. But it seems no one had one for sale. So I headed out to the yard to try my luck. I guess I was pretty lucky that weekend. Not only did I find the car, early 80's Toyota Celica, it was ready for removal. Didn't have to go under and get dirty. I should have played the lottery. But I was content with the acquisition of the driveshaft.
Since completing the ball joint replacement, I feel like I'm on a roll. It got me motivated to work on the french lilac special. And that fact I've been really neglecting it for quite sometime. Both in terms of driving and maintenance. One thing I've been wanting to do is upgrade the transmission. So out goes the semi-pathetic T-50 and in goes the it's larger cousin, the W-58.
As old red gets old, things are bound to get loose. So it's no surprise that the ball joints have finally decided to let go. Actually they've been gone for a few months i've just been putting it off for a while. I was hoping to get the shop to do the work, cause i'm too lazy to lift a wrench. But such is not the case, since they were busy all day. So i'm had to spend my labor day doing the job myself. Well if you want something done, gotta do it yourself. At least I know it'll done right. And if I screw up it's all me. Damn, I need someone too blame if something goes wrong.
In order to be successful I needed to remove the lower control arm. Didn't have a ball joint press which would have cut the necessity of removing the lower control arm.
But I do have a hydraulic press in the back, it's very convenient to remove and install the ball joints.
It sucks I always gotta scrounge around for adapters to make it work. The first one wasn't so hot.
But the next one was a success.
After about an hour of hard labor and busted knuckles old red is feeling better and much more solid. Look ma no more steering wheel shake.