Friday, April 29, 2005

Diet Progress
Eleven days, 9 pounds. I certainly did not help that we went to the Outback tonight and I had a Wallaby Darn (or two).

Parts is Parts
Back in February I ordered some parts from my truck from ChevyDuty. Earlier this week I checked on the order, and the parts were still on back order and the arrival date had slipped again. Yesterday I received a coupon in the mail from YearOne for 20% off my next order (if placed within 10 days).

I decided to call up Year One and if the parts I wanted were in stock I would cancel my previous order. Today I called Chevy Duty to cancel. Fortunately for them, they were unable to cancel the order because they had shipped it out earlier in the afternoon. A little bit later I even received a UPS tracking number in the mail. I guess I can use the coupon to buy the patch panel for the other side.

More L6278
This is the message that reminded me I never finished up the post on the harddrive controller chip swap.

Hi Rick,
I found your blog while doing a search for an L6278. I laughed when I read your story about what happened to you and your hard drive. Not because you lost data, but because it’s the exact same story as mine (I feel your pain). I own a Western Digital 80 Gb drive manufactured in 01 that smoked the L6278. Similarily I don't care about the drive, but stupid me, I had 3 years of digital memories on it.
Before searching the internet and finding your blog, I'd gone through the same excersise of locating similar drives with the L6278 chip and swapping drive controllers. Same as you, it didn't work (same drive with different dates = no good). Thankfully I didn't ruin any other drives in the process.
So anyways, you never posted a follow up to your blog after you tried soldering the new IC. I'm very curious to know if it worked and if so, I'll be wanting to try that too! Please let me know your findings as I'd be a very happy person if I could recover my digital photos.
Drew K

Thursday, April 28, 2005

This is a follow up to a prevous post at the request of a reader (Drew K.) who found my blog while searching for information on the L6268 chip.

After having the L6278 swapped out from the good controller to the one that burnt up, I installed the repaired controller back in the driver. Click click click went the harddrive. But alas, the drive did not work.

My suspicion is that more that just the L6278 was fried. It was not obvious to me what other parts might be damaged.

In the end I had the good chip put back on the good controller. When all was said and done, the good drive was still functional and all my data on the fried drive was lost.

I suspect one of those data retrieval companies could have recovered it but it just wasn't worth the estimate I got.

Today I don't even remember what was on the harddrive. It must have been good stuff though because I spent many hours attempting to get the drive to operate just long enough to back up the data.

While this technique didn't work for me, I have seen a story where a guy swapped controller boards and recovered his data. Good luck.

For the record, quite a few people end up on my site looking for information about this part. L6278 has been in the Monthly Top-10 list of words my site is searched for every single month since I posted that entry.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The dirt is still in the back yard. The truck is still in the garage. The hole is still in the flowerbed. The pipe is still in the hole. The top on the Miata is still down. It is still to cool to be driving with the top down. I am still driving with the top down. Jordan is still playing Age of Empires.

I still don't have anything interesting to post.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Earth Day
Today I had a few more loads of dirt dumped in the backyard, piled up, and spread around. It really looks different out there.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

This afternoon I replaced the sprinkler pipe I cracked on Wednesday. There is still a lot of work to do in the flower beds on the sprinkler but it will wait.

I was hoping to get the garage cleaned up this afternoon but just as I got started Jordan asked me to come inside and play Age of Empires with him. This computer game is his obsession of the week. I told him earlier today that I would play it with him, so I dropped everything back on the bench and closed up the shop. Cleanup can wait til tomorrow.

MRC Command 2000
I purchased a used MRC Command 2000 on ebay this evening. For those not in the know, this is an entry level DCC system for model railroading. If you still don't know what I am talking about, go learn about it somewhere else.

I have been thinking about designing and building my own DCC system for a few years and just recently I got motivated enough to resume doing some of the research. I decided it would be prudent to play with a real system before building my own. I got a pretty reasonable deal on ebay so I can probably resell it later and break even. I am currently working on obtaining a factory equipped DCC loco also. These should get some good run time. I expect the kids will enjoy playing with these almost as much as myself. I guess you can call this the obsession of the week.

What's Next?
What's next for the truck? I am considering installing trailer lights on the back of the truck so it can get back on the street. Technically this would not be much of a challenge. There is a lot of wiring work that could be done. I am still considering replacing it all. And building the new harnesses myself. I am amazed at the prices of the aftermarket stuff. After all, stranded 14 gauge wire is only 11 cents a foot at Home Depot.

Today I was going to replace the ignition switch. I gathered it up will all the surrounding parts to head to the parts store. Before leaving I gave it a good once over. My inspection actually shows it to be in pretty good shape. I am not certain that it is original. It appears not to be 30+ years old. What I really need to replace is the wiring connector that mates up to the ignition switch. I don't know if I can find one of those, but I can just connect the individual wires using crimped connected to the spades on the switch. If I go this route I would put heat shrink on each of the wires to protect against shorting. It will be nice to actually be able to start the truck from inside the cab.

The next area really needing work is the bedside fenders. I have been ignoring them since I declared my independence from auto-body collision school. This will give me the opportunity to do a little more welding!

I don't really know what I will do next. We'll just have to wait and see what hits me next time I head out to the garage.

Repairing Terry's dovetailed drawers are probably what I need to be working on.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Another GMC Update
Today I hooked the transmission lines to the radiator, added a few boths to the fenders, and bolted the bed floor on. I also adjusted the timing. Initially I set it it to 4 degrees BTDC but then I remembered I probably have a high performance cam and solid lifters. My neighbor Lott showed me how to set it by listening to the motor when it cranks. I now have a lot more power! Just look at the two black tire marks in the driveway. We tweaked on the idle screw a little too. It is now able to idle at a lower rpm since the timing is closer to perfect. I was told I could back it off a little bit if I wanted to but I would lose a little bit of power.

Before adjusting the timing, I climbed into the engine bay, removed the distributor and adjusted its position. That requires one to turn the oil pump with the distributor removed. This had to be done so that I could twist the distributor further. The vacuum advance thingie was pressed against the intake manifold. Once the oil pump shaft it twisted, the distributor can be reinstalled in an alternate postion without modifying the timing. Perfection.

Last night I installed the hood, front bumper, and outer grill. Today while twisting the distributor I wished I hadn't put the hood on, but all is well that ends well. I also removed the ignition switch. It is messed up (part of the plastic is melted) and needs to be replaced. The local parts store has them for about $15. I will probably keep the same key cylinder in it.

My current plan is to get more of the wiring functional. I am planning on building my own wiring harnesses. The '72 Chevy Chassis Service Manual has a nice schematic of all the trucks wiring.

Now that is an ugly four letter words. I have been thinking for a few weeks that I should try to lose a few pounds. Each week I would think next week. Sunday I thought next week. Monday morning I decided today is the starting day.

I decided to go the high protein route (low carb). This method was very successful for me about three years ago. Things are going well so far. I have seen the scale drop 9 pounds this week. My orignal goal was only 7. I figure I will probably continue for another week or two. The second week is never as easy or as successful as the first.

And don't forget to drink lots of water. That is the real trick. Just imagine how much extra exercise you get if you have to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Idle Speed

I took the afternoon off to work on the sprinkler system. I managed to get most of my hole dug when I (surprise) it the water line with the shovel. By the time I got the water turned off, my hole was more of a pond. While waiting for the flood to receed, I decided to work on the truck.

I installed the battery tray, heater hoses, and radiator hoses. After filling up the radiator, I cranked it and let it idle in the driveway for an hour. During this time I topped of the transmission fluid, adjusted the timing, topped off the radiator, and eventually cruised up and down the driveway.

After running a few minutes I noticed some smoke. This didn't happen the last two times I cranked it. After a little investigation I found the smoke was coming off the exhaust pipes. After a few minutes it stopped. Theory is that I got some oil or tranny fluid on them at some point and the heat was just burning it off. The smoke is now gone. I guess it didn't get hot enough to smoke the first couple of times.

I also noticed a little water leak on the top radiator hose where it connects to the intake manifold. I tightned the clamp a little. Nope it appears to be coming from between the thermostat housing and the gastket. I will check on that one latter. The leak is just a trickle and it only leaks when the thermostat is open.

Tomorrow is dirt day. I believe that fell in May last year.

And for the record, the truck is actually running in the picture above. After it warmed up, it cranked very easily. Just hit the starter for about a 1.5 seconds and vaaarooom.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

GMC Update
Tonight I had two helpers in the garage: David M. and Dwayne "Mr. Goodwrench" W.

We did a little work on the battery box. It was previously held together with parts of a clothes hanger and miscellaneous bits of wire. Now it is held together by a couple of well placed but amateurish welds. We are getting better, slowly.

Besides the battery box welding, we also installed the radiator support and hung the front fenders. I say hung because they are each being held on by 4 bolts apiece. There are still many bolts left to install but four is enough to keep them in place. The radiator is in also.

The next trip to the part store will be to retrieve heater hoses. Hopefully that will be the last of the required parts before I can cruise up and down the driveway.

Oh yeah, just for fun we cranked it again tonight. Thirty more seconds of run time.

Monday, April 18, 2005

One More Time For The Road
Did I mention I got the 305 CSB running yesterday. Last night using the fabulous internet, I determined the correct wiring for the alternator. Tomorrow night I will get it wired in assuming I can to locate some 10 gauge wire. Perhaps a trip to the Home Depot is in my near future.
Here is my new CD along with 161 others being sent out on Saturday from the post office in Brentwood, Tennessee.
I was just checking out the message board on the Choirs site. According to a post there, they shipped the first 162 albums on Saturday. Since I received mine today, mine was one of those. I bet the last u2 cd I got was not even one of the first 162,000 shipped.

No wonder CDDB couldn't tell me what the CD was.
Nobody Gets a Smooth Ride
The new Choir CD, "o how the mighty have fallen", arrived by mail today. Autographed by the band no less. I can actually make out a few of the sigs. Let's see: Tim Chandler, Dan Michales, Marc Byrd . Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong need to work on their penmanship.

The CDDB music database had no idea what the CD was. I think this is the second time ever this has happened. The last time it was a more esoteric album. More esoteric than The Choir.

At this point I would say my favorite song will be We Give, We Take, but there are definitely several other contenders.

This is a good album. Good job guys! It's a fine fun time.

So is it a coincidence that on this album the song "We Give, We Take" starts with "Hello One Two", where as U2's Vertigo started out "Uno dos tres catorce, Hello, Hello". See #14 of 15 Things You didn't know about The Choir. What do you think?

This album just keeps getting better and better. I have been a fan of these guys since '87 when I discovered Chase the Kangeroo. Shovel go deep!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Today's Accomplishments
..did not include washing the Miata. It got pretty dirty on Tuesday. Between the rain and the muddy roads and all the pollen, I would say it is over due for a bath.
Nothing Like The Sun
Today's goal for the truck was to get it running. And I did.

It has been the plan for a few days to verify it would crank before I put the front end back on. Why? Just in case I needed to pull the engine back out.

Why the hoop-la? Because I have been working on it since late October?

At first I just wanted to see the engine turn over. Three wires are all you need. Negative battery terminal to the alternator bracket for grounding. Postive battery terminal to the starter. And one more wire from the switched input on the starter. The third wire when connected to +12V causes the starter to engage. {After the engine starts, don't froget to disconnect the starter wire}

The engine turns over. Good enough. This was basically a repeat of yesterday.

Next I hooked another wire from the battery to the the (BATT) input on the HEI distributor. This is the wire that provides power to the distributor. The distributor cranks up the voltage and directs it to a plug. Cool, now the plugs are sparking.

Next, fuel. To get fuel to the carb, I had to prime the fuel line from the tank to the pump. To make this a little easier, I added a few gallons to the tank. A little gas was pump in the carb to help turn the engine over. After a few spins the pump was supplying the gas.

During all this time, the timing was close but not quite right. I had set the initial timeing using my best guess. Considering this was first attempt things worked out well. My neighbor Lott played with the timing a little bit. We managed to advance the timing too much. That means a ball of fire comes shooting out of the carb. Fortunately he had some experience with this and new to put the lid on the air filter before attempting to start it. This causes the fire to go back out due to a lack of oxygen.

We saw fire 3 times. The first time when we had the time advanced just a little bit. He adjusted it a little be more {in the wrong direction} and we saw more fire. Working in the other direction, we eventually found that we had retarded the timing so much that we found flame again.

It turns out my initial timing was probably pretty close, but it didn't crank, probably because we had it flooded.

When it did finally start, it ran very smoothly. Lott was very impressed. I was ecstatic.

I only let it run for about 30 seconds. Here is why. First we were running off a weak battery. I have not yet hooked the alternator back up. We were not using any of the stock wiring, just the four wires I described above. The old wiring is in really bad shape and needs to be replaced.

Second, I have not installed the radiator yet. Without the radiator, there is also no coolant, or hoses, etc. I had been advised that this would be safe as long as I kept runtime under a minute.

It turns out I need to hookup two more wires to get the alternator hooked in. I found the information I needed here. The great thing about these old Chevys is that when I need some info, there are lots of sites providing technical details. These sites include pages devoted to Chevelles, Cameros, Corvettes, Impalas, Nomads, Bel Aires, and even old trucks. Some of these may not have started out with a small block, but someone is always busy dropping one in.
For several hours I have been trying to decide which title I would use for this entry. Here are a few of my options:

1) Sweet
2) It's Alive

And here is the one I decided to go with:

Great Balls of Fire

At approximately 4:00 pm today I successfully cranked the '72 GMC. Yep, you read it right. More details to come.

This was a huge event for me.
Three Amigos

This is my new desktop image courtesy of Dan Rasp.
I just discovered the banana smoothie. :)

Saturday, April 16, 2005

It's A Muscial Journey Really
I got a chance this morning to watch my new DVD from Amazon. I have probably only seen this movie once in the last ten years. It is still very engaging. Makes me want to get out my guitar and pretend I can play for a while.

It still gives me chills when the screen turns red at the beginning of Where The Streets Have No Name. I want to run...

U2 - Rattle And Hum

During the song When Love Comes To Town, I believe I spotted my Sister and iMike in the audience.

Now I need to watch the Elevation Tour and U2 - Go Home, Live At Slane Castle again DVDs again. I last watched both of these in November.

There are a few more U2 concert videos I would like to have but they are only available on VHS. I sure wish they would release Under A Blood Red Sky on DVD.

Now where is that new Choir CD I ordered last month? They must be busy autographing it for me.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Several months ago when it seemed to rain for forty days and forty nights, the water from the creek behind our house rose. This year due to my previous dirt obsession, the water did not cover as much of the yard.

As usual, when the water is up, all sorts of junk gets washed into my back yard: milk jugs, bits of syrofoam, plasic soda bottles, and the neighbors fence.

Thats right, part of the neighbors fence. The year before when it flooded part of this particular fence was pushed over by the rushing water. It was damaged so they decided to replace it. The folks upstream from them decided the fence panel would make a nice bridge and proceeded to do so. They even added some nice steel cables to reinforce it.

This year it showed up in my backyard. No one ever came looking for it. After a couple of weeks, I pulled it out of the trees. After setting in the yard for a few months I finally decided they weren't coming for it. This evening I dismantled it and placed the boards in the back of my truck, rusty nails and all. This weekend I will find a final resting ground for it.

If you have any junk in your yard, and it rains really hard and get washed away, please be considerate and go retrieve it.

In other news, the bull dozers are working on the lot behind us. From what I understand we will soon be infested with a bunch of new Town Homes. I am hoping for some in the $500,000 dollar range. That should keep the rif-raf out and raise my property value. Personally, I have never seen a 500k town home, but it could happen.

Zoom, zoom, zoom went the Miata with the top down.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

GMC or Chevy?
I have made a decision. I have been thinking about this for several months. As I have said before my truck has a bit of an identity crisis. It was orignally a GMC but it currently looks to be a Chevy.

At some point the truck was involved in a collision. The front end must have been pretty well smashed up because the entire front end was replaced. The front cross member was not replaced but it is pretty well banged up. When I say the entire front end I mean the inner and outter grill, the radiator support, the left and right inner and outer fenders, the front bumper, and the front bumper brackets. {Technically the front bumper brackets were removed and never replaced.} Did I forget anything? Oh yeah, the hood.

So what did I decided? I decided to acquire a front end from a GMC truck to put on my truck. The current front end is part 71 and part 72 Chevy. What will I get? Well it depends on what I can find at the salvage yard. The price will probably run between $200 and $250 based on a quote I got a few months ago. That included the salvage yard workers removing the parts from the old truck. Imagine what it would cost to replace all that on your car.

I suspect I will put this off for a few months but it is never to early to start planning.

If my memory serves me correctly, any GMC front end from 67-72 should fit ok. I am torn between trying to find a 67-68 because of the sloped hood or looking for a 72 because that is what it came with. I will let you know more once I decide or whenever fate makes the decision for me.

Plenty of Fluids
As for the list below, I forgot to itemize pouring in the transmission and power steering fluid. The oil has already been introduced and the oil pump has been primed. For the record, I decided to try out a synthetic blend oil. I think it was Castrol. I am also considering switching the Miata to Mobile 1 when the next change rolls around. My neighor speaks very highly of it as do a few others I know.
Chevy II Duty

Way back in February, I mentioned that I had ordered some sheet metal for the GMC from Chevy Duty. I am still waiting. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if the million dollars showed up in the mail first. Fortunately I have wireless connectivity so I can blog from the curb.
The pollen is very heavy this year. My truck is changing colors and the Miata dash has to be dusted everyday.

GMC Update
Tonights shop time seemed productive. We hooked the second exhaust pipe up to the exhaust manifold. Also tightened the carb down and hooked up the vacuum lines and accelerator cable. Put the engine at TDC (top dead center).

Whats left?
1. Install the distributor cap.
2. Put the belts on.
3. Radiator support, radiator, hoses, and transmission coolant lines.
4. Connect fuel line to pump.
5. The secondary vacuum thingy.
6. Connect switched starter wire.
7. That other wire that goes to the distributor cap.
8. What else am I forgetting?

So here is a question. How long can an engine run with out any coolant/water with out causing damage to the block? Assuming this is possible, I could delay step 3 until after the engine has cranked.

David M is certain that it will run, just not sure how smooth it will be running. I suspect my neighbor can help resolve that.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Yesterday on the way home from church, G said something like "Perhaps I should get a car that gets better gas mileage." She drives a Tahoe. It gets better MPG than my truck, but not much better.

(I am betting gas will hit $3.00 per gallon before long).

About a block later, I had the solution. There on the side of the road sat a mid-60's Mustang convertable, for sale.

It probably doesn't get better gas mileage but unlike most cars, you could drive it and it would appreciate in value. We didn't stop and look at it. How could I? She was absolutely right when she said "Where could you park it?" I bet I could get it in the garage if we parked it sideways in front of the Miata. I wonder if it is still there? Surely it couldn't be any worse of an investment than QQQQ or VFIN.
This morning as I was driving up my street, I yielded for a red car to pull out in front on my red car. My red car has the top down. This red car had the top open, though I wouldn't say it was down. It was kind of a t-top though not necessarily T.

At first I thought this car was an Acura NSX. A guy on the next street over has a red NSX. This was not the NSX. Another guy on the next street has a 2005 triple black Viper. This definitely wasn't a Viper. Nor was it one of the local Corvettes.

This one was a Ferrari 308 GTS. Who are all these guys and where do they work?

More Network Problems
How is this for a little variety. Tonight I had network connectivy, but I couldn't access Blogger's site. This is not the same as not having internet access or internet access with blogger but being unable to post. What's going on?

Plain White Toast
A friend of mine says he likes Cracker Barrell alot! So much so that he always orders the same breakfast when he is there. I don't recall if it is Uncle Hershels or the Old Timer but you get the idea. I have mentioned to him in the past that they have a pretty good Burger and reasonable onion rings. He is a big fan of onion rings also. Today he said he would have to go to CB several times in a single week if he were ever going to be able to try the onion rings. Sounds like a challenge.

Tomorrow we planning a trip to the local CB. I will be having the burger perhaps. He will be having his usual breakfast with plain White toast.

The Wednesday plan is another trip to CB. I will perhaps have ham and biscuits or possibly the meat loaf. He will probably have his usual breakfast with plain White toast.

For Thursday we are planning a trip to CB. Perhaps I will have bacon and eggs or maybe Chicken Fried Steak. Perhaps he will finally have some onion rings. And plain White toast.

One time at CB when they asked for a name to put on the list, I responded "White".

"White like the color?"

"No white like the trash." He is fortunate enough to have the last name White and gets to be the butt of the joke often enough.

Plans for Friday do not include a trip to CB. That would be crazy. It would take forever to get a table at the Cracker Barrell on a Friday. Perhaps we could get some food to go and take it to the park. The trailer park.

And then next week we will all go on a diet.

Rattle and Hum
I received a package in the mail today from Amazon. I ordered a book and a DVD. The DVD is U2's Rattle and Hum. Not the album, but the DVD. I just happened to notice Amazon had it for $11.24. I couldn't resist.

The first time I saw the movie was the summer it was released. The theater was not packed when I saw it. Let's just say I knew almost everyone there. I was there with my girlfriend. Her name was Kim. There was only one other couple in the theather. While sitting waiting for the show to start I realized I recognized the laugh of the other guy. It was Wade T of Presence Fame. He was a big U2 fan also. (His car tag "U2 WAR" named after the U2 album of the same name.) I didn't know his date. That was the entire crowd. I thought it was a great show. I don't think my girl friend really cared for it. Probably not his either.

Just in case you didn't notice, the book has a fairly long name: Joel on Software: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity. Say that three times fast.

I started reading the book. Sounds pretty interesting huh? Two chapters already, so far two thumbs up.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

My internet access has been spotty for the last two days. This is worse than blogger not posting. This is not being able to get to blogger. No telling how many insightful statements you missed.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Monday I decided that I had graduated from the auto-body class. Four class sessions remained but it was going to be all shop time. Given that the learning curve had flattened out, I decided Tuesday evenings would be better spent at home working on the truck in my garage.

Tuesday evening David M came by to loosen the lugs on his Miata. They had been over tightened the last time they were rotated. Using a 4' pipe on the end of the lug wrench solved the problem. He had other commitments, made by his wife, so he couldn't stay for the evening session.

Mr. Dwayne W., aka Magic Hammer, aka Mr. Goodwrench, came by. I believe he and Creg have both graduated as well. I offered to let them take my fenders with them if they wanted to continue to go to class.

Tuesday I sand blasted the 2nd exhaust manifold and then painted it. After Dwayne showed up, we connected the first exhaust manifold to the exhaust pipe.

Next we began working on getting the initial distributor timing set. Unfortunately we were unable to turn the crank shaft. Deja vu! The first problem found was that the started seemed to be installed crooked. The starter housing was somehow pressed against the flex plate. The started was removed and about that time we called it a night. The clock in the garage said 8:10 pm but it hadn't been adjusted for DST. I had forgotten about that so I was surprised to see it was almost 9:30 pm when I got inside.

Note to self: Things to check next time Blogger quits working with my FTP server.

vsftp - Ok the problem was that my public IP address changed earlier this week.

It was and it is now

Vsftp requires my IP address to be in


pasv_address =

Also make sure the passive port range is being forwarded correctly by the firewall.


Find out more about vsftp here.
Hi Rick
Today I got an email from another Rick A. Martindale. This guy is the CEO of Wunderbar. He mentioned that he found me while Googling himself. It turns out I am once again showing up on Googles search results.

Patent Search
While looking at the search results I noticed something interesting on Fresh Patents.

What is it you ask? A Patent Application Description for some stuff I worked on while at Teracruz. The application was for Patent for "System and Method for Query Result Caching". And yes, that is me listed on the inventors list.

The link is here.
Please Standy By
My blog entries are still not posting. I put up an alternate page today. Hopefully I will determine whats going wrong shortly.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Regarding Spell Checking, Or A Lack Thereof

"I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way." -Twain

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Monday, April 04, 2005

Instant Gratification
Or rather, a lack thereof. I signed up with Gravatar. Who knew I would have to wait to have my image approved?

Sunday, April 03, 2005

More Sand Please
This afternoon I sandblasted all the surface fust off of one of the exahaust manifolds. Next I welded up one a hole. This hole was for heat risers and had previously been welded shut but I opened it back up last week while grinding off some excess metal.

After welding it shut and grinding it smooth, I put a couple of coats on high temperature silver paint on it. Looks pretty good. Unfortunately I ran out of play sand so I only got the one side done. I went ahead an installed it with some new grade 8 steel bolts.

Earlier in the day I spent an hour learning a little bit about metal shaping from a guy who lives a few miles away. He makes english wheels for a living. He had a very impressive setup. I learned a lot.

Yesterdays wind has ended. Today it was calm and warm, until I hit third gear. Then it was just warm.

The dishwasher over flowed yesterday. The kitchen floor was soaked. Unfortunately the carpet in the hall got its fair share too. The dishwasher repairman has already made three trips. It looks like we will be seeing this guy again.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Creg and I went to get a Ford 5 liter engine and transmission to test fit into this truck. I loaned him the hoist. Good to see it getting some additional use ($$$ well spent).

After we got back to his house, we hung the engine and dropped it in. It looks like he will probably be removing frame cross members and replacing them with two new members in alternate locations. It looked like a good fit.

While picking up the engine this morning, I met a real nice guy with a Porsche Cayenne twin turbo. He happened to mention that its cost was just $140 (k). The just is what tickled me. It was a nice vehicle, but I think I would probably find several others I would rather have for that amount.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Voodoo arrived on Tuesday. As I was driving to work on Wednesday, I remembered that I had forgotten about it. Thursday evening, I put it in. I even snapped a few shots.

Today there was only an 80% change of rain. Since it was only misting, I went ahead and drove in to work with the top down. Am I imagining things or does the Miata have better traction in the rain now?

The car has been running very nice since the exhaust leak was resolved. I think the only real problem right now is that the tires seem to be getting square. Perhaps more time on the road would solve this.

Rain, rain, go away,
Come again on Monday.

Tomorrow morning I am going with Creg K. to see Kevin S.'s shop. Creg is borrowing a Ford V8 5.0L engine and transmission from Kevin. His plan is to test fit the modern setup in his 1953 Ford pickup. He is currently trying to work out the details of what needs to be done to the cross members and check the clearance with the firewall.