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: 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.