Thursday, January 29, 2015

I'll Be What I Am

The Unstupider, Revisited

If you've been following along, you will remember that I'm an idiot. The reasons are legion, for they are many, but in this case I'm referring to the time when I measured wrong and had a driveshaft shortened about an inch too short. I then found a spacer for the driveshaft to take up the slack, but luck was not with me that day. The spacer, which I called the unstupider, did not fit my pinion flange since the Mustang 8.8 axle has a different pinon flange than the Explorer 8.8 pinion flange. After a lot of interneting I found that Fabtech makes a spacer for the F-150 and someone listed it as applicable for the Explorer as well. I rolled the dice and went to 4-Wheel Parts in Compton (yeah, that Compton, where you get shot while eating BBQ or doing drug deals) to get one. Turns out they didn't have one in stock so they would have to order it in and then ship it to me. So I went on my way, expecting to get a package on my doorstep in the next few weeks. That was in September. It is now almost February. To be honest I kind of forgot about it, and every time I remembered, I got angry that I had not yet received the Unstupider 2.0. So finally I called 4-Wheel Parts, ready to shoot someone (while eating BBQ) and they said "Uhhh, yeah we have that in stock. We don't know what happened. You can come pick it up."  So at lunchtime I had some hawiian BBQ and decided not to shoot anyone so long as they had my part. When I showed up it was on the front desk. They smelled the BBQ on my breath, cowered a bit, and handed me my part. When I finally made it home that night around 10:45, I climbed under the car to check if it fit. Fortune was not just with the weaklings at the counter of 4-Wheel Parts, but it was with me as well because the Unstupider 2.0 fit. Fate had smiled upon me.

Before spacer installation
Problem: solved


Mild Steel or Spicy?

After spending months working on my intake manifold which may or may not work because welding aluminum is a pain in the arse, I finally switched my welder back over to steel. That right there is reason to rejoice. I got back to what I was working on when before the manifold, namely seat brackets. When I first installed the Miata seats I just kinda stuck them in and welded a reinforcement plate and nut on the underside of the floor pan. I still had not finished the rear mounts. I decided to redo the whole thing and redo it right. These seat brackets are incredibly solid and would hold the likes of Rosie O'Donnel if she could fit through the door.

Patching up the old mess I made
Reinforcement plate
Bracket tacked in place
The "Equal Opportunity Seat Bracket". Welcome to my car, fatties! 
Passenger side finished

What's Fresher than being Fresh??

In closing, I just want to share something different with you. This is the two year anniversary of me finding Grace on the Inland Empire Craigslist (the finest in all the land, for real though). Two years ago I was in Timmins, Ontario, Canada, and tonight I am in that same blessed frozen wasteland. I found Grace while browsing craigslist between cold start tests on a prototype of what is now the Lexus NX200t. It was also the first time I had ever used a bidet, and most certainly the first time I had ever used a computer controlled toilet seat. So in memoriam, here is the control panel of that computer controlled, heated, amazing toilet seat/bidet combo. May you, dear reader, some day be fortunate enough to experience such goodness.