Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Workin' for the man every night and day.

I've never been to Australia, but I hear it is quite the experience. A kid I knew in high school just moved there, and he posted a picture of a koala in a eucalyptus tree. I thought that was pretty neat, it doesn't get more Australian than that. The wildlife there is crazy, you are never know just what you are going to find in the outback. Both my boss and Ray from www.turboford.org independently sent me the this picture of a nesting Falcon down under.

For some reason it makes me think of Rescuers Down Under
A couple weeks ago I found a good deal on a Borg Warner EFR 6258 turbo and stainless steel header. I'm definitely not at a stage where I need this turbo, in fact I don't NEED a turbo at all as the engine going in this car currently has a Holset HE351 turbo with a header I built. I knew however, that I would be wanting this exact turbo at some point down the road, so I scooped it up. The turbo itself was pretty excited as it was going to be escaping the Great White North and moving to SoCal in the middle of the winter. The EFR turbos have ball bearings and a lightweight turbine so they are very responsive, and this turbo maxes out right around 450 hp, just above my target power. It came as a package deal with a stainless steel header made by Marc Bean. Marc has a Mustang SVO with a 600-ish HP 2.3 liter engine, so I figured his header would probably be OK.

On saturday, my goal was to leak test my fuel tank and finish the brake lines. It wasn't anything huge, but I was pretty happy to get both done.

To test the tank, I plugged the tank outlets and filled it with water. I found two leaks in my fuel tank welds, so I ran new beads all around the sump. It sealed the leaks and improved the looks significantly. While I was at it, I modified the original style fuel pickup. Since I built the sump. the original pickup was no longer needed. I cut the fuel pickup tube and welded it shut, as can be seen in the last picture. It was all pretty simple, and went about as expected.

That's all for this week, folks. I didn't get any interesting pictures of the new brake lines so until next time, to quote Joe Dirt, keep on keepin' on!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sweet Land of Liberty

This week I made zero progress on the Falcon. But that's OK. I got to go home to Utah for an extended Thanksgiving weekend. I love going t Utah and I love seeing my family. I come from a nerdy family. Not only am I a Mechanical Engineer, so are all three of my brothers and my brother in law, so when we all get together the topic inevitably turns to some sort of heated discussion about thermodynamic principles. This time it centered around an assembly of ABS pipes.

Thanksgiving arts and crafts!
Ready for glue.

The potato cannon was a big hit. I think my pops enjoyed shooting it more than he's willing to admit, and my brother in law, Joe, couldn't think about much else all weekend long besides the design and analysis of potato cannons. He's already getting psyched up for Christmas break because he wants to hook some pressure sensors up to the chamber to log data and experiment with fuels.

On Sunday I went for a walk to a place I call Death Row. It's a line of cars out behind my dad's cabinet shop that no longer run. Most are FoMoCo products because gramps was a Ford salesman back in the day. I walked along and took pictures of some of the cars there and had a major ah-hah moment. At some point I realized that I have another child that I'd completely forgotten about. I am actually the owner of a 1959 Ford F100.

When I was in High School my buddy Jonnykat had a 1958 F100 that we were trying to fix. We didn't know much of anything in those days, but he knew a guy with a F100 he was willing to give away. We went and hauled the truck back to Jonny's place. When Jonnykat abandoned the project, he gave this parts truck to me. I hadn't thought about this truck being mine since I was about 16. I'd never realized how pretty it's patina is. Maybe I'll see if I can get it to fire up next time I'm in Utah.

My borhter's '49 Chev.

1964 (I think) Fairlane 500 Sports Coupe

This is Pa's High School truck. It's a 1960 F100 Custom cab with wraparound rear window.
Here's the car that started it all, my inspiration for buying Grace.
Fuel tank for no reason at all.

There are many other cars on Death Row, I only featured the ones that caught my eye this time.

Enough of my ramblings. The next post will be about Grace.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

It had a sound that mowed the lawn

Coming to you from the Iron Hydroxide blogging office, it's your sorta-weekly installment arriving a day early!

This week was a crazy week at work. I attend three auto shows a year to write a report about the the new fuel economy technology released by the competition. It's interesting to be on the inside of the industry and see how it works and eat free food. I try to have a draft of the report sent to Japan as soon as possible, so that makes for some really long days.

Because I care about you, dear reader, I will now share some of the highlights of the show.

Chevy returns to the mid-size truck market with the Colorado.
Available with diesel in 2015.
BMW i8 plug in hybrid sports car with inline 3 turbo engine.
Strange times we are living in... I like it though.
Subary Legacy Concept 
Mercedes design concept, released in Gran Turismo 6.

The Porsche Macan was a lot cooler than I expected.
340 HP in the base model, 400 HP in the "Turbo" model
Maserati display. Someone got creative with a batch of bad pistons.
Why would you want a parachute on the front of a front wheel drive
dragster? Oh wait...
"Maximum" Bob Lutz with some goofy looking dude.
I had to tell them I coudn't let them give me their phone numbers, it's not professional.
Yep, I met Bob Lutz. For those of you who don't know who he is, do youself a favor and read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Lutz_(businessman) Bob was very gracious and asked me about my job and talked with me for a bit. He would have talked longer, I'm sure, but I did the Napoleon Dynamite style duck and run because I'm awkward like that.

Today I decided to finish the axle assembly and install. This involved torquing the mains, and filling the axle with fluid. I asked the internet and it said an Explorer 8.8 should hold about 3 quarts. Luckily, I had purchased 3 quarts.

Few things are as delicious as fresh gear oil early in the morning.
Limited slip differentials require a special additive.
Ready for installation

At this point I installed the axle assembly by hooking the suspension links up and bolting the coilover shocks on. After that I bolted the brake rotors and calipers on.

Today Grace finally stood on her own legs again. It's been a few months. It's pretty exciting, seeing this today pumped up my motivation.

I need to take the car a to collision repair shop to get the unibody pulled back into alignment. Grace appears to have been in an accident earlier in life that leaves the passenger side front corner sitting higher than the  driver side. Luckily I know a bearded man that may be able to help me. Maybe I'll make motor mounts in the meantime.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Es geht sich alles nur um Autos und Frauen, zusammen Kaugummi kauen auf'm Rucksitz

For the past few weeks Grace has been doing that passive aggressive nagging thing. I had been pretty busy with other things and she felt neglected, so I'd resolved to spend more quality time with her, in fact I spent all last Saturday with her, but it wasn't enough. Every time I pulled into the driveway she'd just look at me with those big round headlights, not saying anything, just giving me that look.

I decided that Saturday was her day. I dragged myself out of bed saturday morning around 9 AM after staying up too late watching SHARKNADO by myself (0/5 stars. I recommmend it.). I spent about an hour flipping through the JEGS and Speedway magazines and eating PB&Js, and then went outside to get started. Why yes, I am a bachelor. Why do you ask?

My first task was to put my rear axle assembly together. I had to determine which differential shims went on which side. These shims locate the diff in the housing, and if you get it wrong, your ring and pinion gears will last about as long as a plate of bacon at a lumberjack's convention arm wrestling competition. When I disassembled this axle, I didn't pay attention to where the shims went. This meant I needed to paint the gears with gear marking compound (which is just a thick bright yellow grease) and see if the grease wore off in all the right places. It's a good thing I did this because my first guess was wrong and the wear pattern was off, as seen in the pictures below.

Gear marking compound and empty axle housing
Teeth painted with gear marking compound
Differential installed
Wear pattern shifted to the outside of the ring on the drive side.
Wear pattern shifted to the inside of the ring on the coast side
After seeing this, I switched the shims side for side and the wear pattern was perfectly in the middle. I then drove the axle end bearings into the housing using a very costly specialized two-by-four. After inserting the axleshafts, I realized that I was missing a c-clip and had to go to "The Axle Shop". I'll let you guess what The Axle Shop does. As much as I whine and complain about SoCal, it is really nice having places like that ten minutes from my house. I was able to get all the parts I needed and keep moving on the project.

Custom made bearing driver
Axle seal ready to be inserted
Axle shaft being inserted
Axle retention groove
Axle retaining C-clip
C-clip installed
Installing cross pin
Cross pin retaining bolt

Once I got the axle assembled, I started on re-installing the now painted rear suspension. With a little help from my friends, I got the 4-link cradle in, though I didn't snap a picture.

I'd been putting off running brake lines for a long time now, so I finally put on my big boy pants and crawled under the car. While working on the brake lines I came to the realization that not a single component of the stock braking system remained. Not a single bolt, hose, mounting point, not even the firewall where the pedals are mounted is original. The system was all designed by me. How's that for a spooky thought?

Front brake tab for the hard line to flex line adapter
With adapter and flex line installed
One of the small details on this build: I didn't like the idea of sheet metal screws
going into the floor pan, so I bought weld nuts to go inside the car for every
underbody bracket. This will keep brake and fuel lines very securely in place.
Weld nut welded in place
Brake line to the rear, in trans tunnel
Brake line routing to the master cylinders
All in all it was a long productive day. Unfortunately I don't think this next week will be as good for Grace. In fact it will likely be a very bad week for grace. I will be going to the LA auto show for work this coming week, so I know I'm going to be coming home to a lot of glares and "how was your day with all of those other newer cars??" On the bright side, I'l bring pictures for you, dear reader.