Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Every night they rock us to sleep, digital family

Now that I've got two kettles on the boil, I guess I'll give you updates on both. While Grace has been legal for a couple weeks, she wasn't really. California, the state with the most severe emissions requirements (Grace is exempt from emissions testing since she is pre-1975) does not perform any sort of safety inspection, so I was able to register the old girl without any functioning lights. I wanted to be able to drive at night, and not live in constant fear of a teenager or distracted mom (or distracted teenage mom) rearending me because I didn't have functioning taillights. After a few evenings and a saturday of wiring, I finally have functioning lights.

Cibie H4 projector headlamps
Functioning lights were a big step forward for this project, since it's starting to get dark earlier and I needed to be able to drive the car on the road in order to begin the engine tuning process. As you may remember, I'm using Megasquirt II for engine management. It is low cost, and incredibly flexible. The tradeoff is that the learning curve is relatively steep. Thankfully there are a ton of people online who are willing to provide support to those who want to learn. Even though I did not purchase my MSII unit from www.diyautotune.com they were still willing to provide support in setting it up.

Another awesome feature MSII has is that at a relatively low cost, you can buy a software package that will automatically tune the fuel tables in the ECU. What this means is that I can just drive the car around, and the software will compare the actual air-fuel ratio to the expected air-fuel ratio and adjust parameters accordingly. This gives a big head start in tuning an engine. As I drove the car around, the software added about 30% more fuel in the turbo boost and high RPM regions than I had initially expected it to need. This is a good thing, because it means we are making a lot of power. How much power? We won't know until I take it to a shop for dyno tuning.

On Saturday, I took Grace for her longest drive yet. I drove from my house to Seal Beach, about ten miles, on surfaces streets. I then got -stupid- daring and took the freeway back. I was pleasantly surprised when she performed as well as I would hope for at this stage. The engine is making gobs of power, but the two main issues are that the boost control isn't working, so it will overboost if I floor it, and the vibrations from the engine are unnerving. I'm afraid the car is going to shake itself to pieces if I don't make some changes. Sometime soon you'll see a post about new motor mounts.

After returning from a place that Kenny Loggins only sings about, I got to work on the Ranger. Due to packaging constraints, the stock Ranger radiator was not going back in. I got to work on google images, searching photos of radiators to find one that I thought might fit. I spotted a short, wide radiator and looked closer. It turns out the radiator was from another American car with a straight six, one that I own in fact. I ordered a Jeep Cherokee radiator on eBay and waited for it to arrive.

When I got the radiator, it was a bit wider than I was expecting, even though I had looked at the measurements. It is 35" wide, probably the widest light duty radiator I know of. But after a little creative trimming with one of my favorite tools, it was a perfect fit!

Last week I finished the motor mounts, but did not build a transmission mount, so I spent a couple hours building on this week. It was a pretty simple, quick, and dirty solution, but it shouldn't have any trouble holding up to the stresses it will be subject to.

That's all for now, but since I'm never one to leave you without a parting gift, please accept this GIF.

source: http://scorpiondagger.tumblr.com/

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