Saturday, March 29, 2008

John Hancock

Here is my sig. It is located on the edge of the hood, passenger side. I looked for Mr. Miata's but was unable to locate it. I thought it was in the center of the hood. That made me wonder if they clean the names off from time to time to make room for more.

BMW Ultimate Drive Event

This morning I drove a few Beamers in the BMW Ultimate Drive Event. First I drove an M3. This car was a rocket! While driving the M3 on the interstate I passed about a dozen Dodge Vipers. Obviously a Viper club on the go. Before exiting the car, I checked under the seat for a "Barn Door Fan Club" bumper sticker. Someone else must have gotten to it first. I took this picture right after getting out of the M3. The next driver was already in place.

Next was a convertible 650i. This car had a heads-up speed-o-meter. If you want a big convertible, this is the car for you. That is me in the car sitting still.

And this is me driving the car driving on the interstate. I am also the photographer.

And then a Z4 Coupe. Just like last year, I was disappointed with this car. The interior is crampted and it needs more power. It is not nearly as fun to drive as a Miata or a Charger. This is me in the Z4.

My final ride was a 760. I selected this car because it had a V12. This car was sweet. The old-guy in me loved this car. The young guy in me opened the sun roof even though the sky was overcast. See how this car makes me look older than the Z4 did.

Just like last year, this event was a lot of fun. I ran into four people I knew who were also there for a drive. I am also happy to report that after driving all those cars, when I drove out of the parking lot, I was pleased that I preferred my Charger to any of the cars I had just driven. When I was driving the 650i convertible I couldn't help but noticing how disconnected I felt from the rode. At times that could be a good thing, but when I am in the Miata, I enjoy feeling the road. I think the thing that bugged me about these BMWs is that the controls in the cars are all so complicated. Also, no two cars I drove seemed to have the same buttons and when they did, they were located in a different position. It took me forever to find the seat adjustment controls in the 760. (They were located to the drivers right on the left vertical side of the center console.) Even the gear shifts were awkwardly different. I suppose if you drove one all the time, you would get use to the controls and probably prefer them, but for a short trip around town, they were simply awkward.
Foundry Fuel Injector (Take I)

Here is my first attempt at a foundry fuel injector. It is designed to burn WVO. It also has a propane hookup for pre-heating, and an air hookup.

This is the hookup for air. It connects to the air compressor. I will be using an air compressor initially because I have one, therefore it was convenient. Most folks use a blower.

This second hookup is for the propane. The propane is to pre-warm the foundry. Once the WVO is burning, the propane may be turned off. The connector is not exactly straight. I had trouble getting the tap started on the pipe. Perhaps I drilled the hole crooked.

This is the oil hookup. I put a valve inline to shut off the oil. Below the cutoff value is a quick connect.

This is the bottom of a five gallon bucket. The bucket will be used as an oil tank. Initially the oil will be gravity feed. Eventually I will probably pressurize the oil tank. Here the bucket is hanging up. I was checking for leaks. None so far.

I read that the oil tube inner diameter needs to be greater than 1/4". I used 3/8" tubing. I used air fittings with an ID of 3/8" also. Perhaps tomorrow I will test out this contraption.
Differential Pictures

Here are a few pictures of the differential after sand blasting. The diff has now been painted, but as usual I haven't taken the pictures yet.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What's the Diff

This weekend I finally got around to the differential housing.

Step one: Remove anything that doesn't look like a differential housing.

Step two: Sandblast the giant hunk of metal resembling a differential housing.

Step three: Paint giant hunk of metal that resembles a differential housing.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Weekend Update

F1: The first F1 race of the season was this weekend. Hamilton finished first, no surprise there. Of the 22 cars, only 6 finished. Kimi was 9th, Masa DNF. Still pulling for Ferrari. G is dedicated to McLaren. Rubens(Honda) will probably be black-flagged for leaving the pits under a red light putting Kimi back into the points.

Diet: Lost another lb and a half this week. Having achieved my initial goal, I have not yet determined where I am heading now.

GMC: Disassembled the rear diff preparing for some sandblasting.

Melting: No progress.

Other: Attended auction.
'72 GMC Update

Today I finally disassembled the differential I brought home from the junk yard on the 4th of July. The plan is to begin blasting it next weekend. I didn't take a pre-disassembly shot but here are a few post shots including another diff chunk in a bucket. The gear ratio on this one is 3.73. The other was a 3.07 if my memory serves me correctly. Both are in good shape. I will probably use the 3.07 as it will provide better gas mileage.

Kruse Auction In Huntsville

I attended a classic car auction this weekend. I had never been to one before and it was quite enjoyable. The I only lasted about 5 hours. I suspect the entire event was 10 or more hours. During my time there, the lowest price was $2100 and the highest price was $110,000. Quite a few muscles cars sold in the 60 to 70 k price range.

This '57 convertible went for $110k.

At one point one of the bidders assistants was messing with me. I had accidentally made eye contact with him and he offered to place a $57,000 bid on a '62 convertible Corvette for me. *** Shakes head side to side and looks at this feet. *** The car eventually sold for $67k. I did not buy it.

If possible, I will try to attend this again next year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

After much pain and frustration, the images are back in weekend post. Scroll on down.

Monday, March 10, 2008

No Pictures

The photos in the following posts are not showing up. The links got messed up. I will fix this tonight tomorrow. Thanks for you patience.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Formula One season starts Thursday with the first race on Sunday.

Shall I go ahead and predict Kimi will win again this season? Certainly.
Flask and First Cast

This first image is of one of the two flasks I made yesterday. The top section is called a cope, the bottom section a drag.

This image shows the cope seperated from the drag. The keying is used to re-align the two sections after removing the pattern from the flask.

The larger flask is 12" x 8". The smaller is 8" x 6" if memory serves me. They are both made from MDF. I sprayed the inside with a clear coat of paint before using. After the first cast, there was no evidence of the clear coat left. I suppose I was skip the clear coat in the future.

The saw horse along with the board leaning on it act as a wind screen. The foundry is located in the center, a metal pail to the right acts as a receptical fro dross. The pail contains a stainless steel spoon used for removing the dross from the crucible. To the far left is the coal bin, not currently in flame. The air hose feeds oxygen to the fire. It is typically set at about 20 to 25 PSI.

First Cast (Continued)

Aluminum. Ready to pour.

Removing the crucible from the foundry.

On your marks, get set, go!

One down.

First Cast (Part III)

Pouring the shell.

The leftover metal is poured into a small bread pan to form an ingot.

Cooling off.

Here the patterns have been placed back into the forms. This was probably not necessary but at the time it seemed like a good idea. The first casts have been removed and are cooling just to the top of the image. The sand is discolored around the pattern due to the heat from the hot aluminum. The sand becomes quite hard after the initial pour.

First Cast (Part IV)

Here are a set of castings cooling on the molds.

We (Danny and I, supervised by Brian) made a total of 4 sets of castings. The first Sol was melted down and re-cast due to inferior quality. The image had a void probably caused when I paused during the pour and then added additional metal.

Here is a shell. The shells were not quite as nice as the Suns, but they are still excellent examples of our first casting.

We also poured four ingots, one of which was remelted and used on a subsequent cast.

Look for my adventures creating the green sand, a.k.a casting sand, in a future post. The mold was used four times today before putting the sand back into its storage bin. I have read that the sand can be reused for a lifetime.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Today I made a couple of flasks for metal casting. A flask consists of a cope and a drag. Pictures tomorrow.

At first I thought I was making four flasks, and then five. Somewhere along the way I miscounted the parts and ended up with 2 and a half. A half a flask doesn't count, so the final count was two. Another prime example of poor planning. Seriously though, when I was cutting parts, I overlooked that the flask had an upper and lower assembly. I only counted and cut parts for the lower assembly. Duh! That is what I get for drawing up the plans on a piece of wood and then cutting up the plans.

[0 to go]

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Welding Class

Tonight in my welding class I made a crucible. The picture below contains the crucible, my aluminium ingot, and a quarter (for scale). The crucible should easily handle six pounds of liquid aluminum. At least I think so.

After I finished creating this masterpiece, I set it on the bench and declared it to be a work of art. Or perhaps a tip jar. Folks really appreciate good art.

You can't hide money.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

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Another perfectly good weekend drawing to an end.

23 lbs down.

[1 lb to go]
I Did It All By Myself

Alternate Title: My assistant Danny.
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Accident Waiting To Happen

At the top you can see the flames in the foundry. In the middle you can see that our charcoal supply caught fire.

Stop, drop, and roll.
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Coffee Can Foundry In Action

Here you can see some liquid aluminum.
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The First Failure

The crucible was a stainless steel camping style coffee cup. We lost containment before the second pour occurred. Where did the melted aluminum go? It wasn't in the foundry and it wasn't in the crucible.
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The First Pour

The hand belongs to Danny G.
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Coffee Can Furnace In Action

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Coffee Can Foundry Success!

What you see here is the first successful aluminum melt from my coffee can foundry. This little ingot weights in at 1 lb 3.25 oz (545 grams).

Aluminum Ingot