Sunday, April 16, 2017


You might ask yourself: "What has happened with dear old Grace recently?" Or you might have forgotten that she even exists, and I wouldn't blame you since it's been at least a billion time units since I blogged last. Before I write about Grace, I think I first need to deal with the subject of the TURD, my daily driver Jeep Cherokee. And to deal with the TURD, I need to back up a little bit...
If you can remember as far back as my last post, you will remember that Jen and I went for a Sunday walk and our neighborhood was submerged by a massive rainfall. This year California had the wettest year ever actually recorded in it's 122 years of record keeping. No president since Grover Cleveland could claim to have granted a water year to the residents of California quite like Donald Trump did during his early days in office. (I kid, I kid. I know it's the secretary of Agriculture that controls the rain, not the President) All the reservoirs are full, and the snow hasn't even all melted yet. 

Snow in the Sierras. Jen for scale.
More snow in the Sierras. Another Jen for scale.
Well, during this season of deluge it came to my attention that the floorboards of my Jeep were in terrible condition. My carpet was eternally wet and I could feel water splashing against the underside of the carpet as I drove through large puddles.

Once the rains stopped and it dried out, I decided it was time to take action.  Like Noah stepping from the Ark, I peeled back the carpet and this is what I found:

With a little (OK a metric butt-load) of work leaning over the door sill while kneeling outside the cabin, I got the floor pans out with a spot weld cutter and my angle grinder. That left me with a floor looking like this:

Then after an eternity stitch-welding the new floor pans in, I got to this point:

I then pressure washed the carpet, let it dry, and then washed and reinstalled the rest of the interior. Also as a part of the maintenance and rehabilitation of my daily driver, I purchased a set of tires from the Tire Rack which I had sent to my house. I had been away all week on business in New York, so when they arrived at my house before me on Friday afternoon I received this from Jen:
While I really, really, love new tires I love my wife even more. I guess I'm not the best at showing it sometimes...

So that brings us up to speed. The past several Saturdays have either been swallowed by the TURD, or I've spent them doing more important non-car stuff. However, that doesn't mean that I haven't been working on the Falcon at all. 

One small issue I addressed was the clutch master cylinder. I found that the clutch pedal feel was very light and vague, and the stroke of the pedal was much longer than I liked. When a pedal feels too light, this is usually because the master cylinder is too small or the slave cylinder is too large. Since I would not be able to change the size of  the slave cylinder, I decided to change the master cylinder.
Previous master cylinder setup
New master cylinder setup

The bore of the new master cylinder's piston area is about 44% larger than previous, which should translate into a corresponding 44% increase in force required to depress the pedal. I haven't measured anything, but that figure is probably close to accurate.

So what's next for dear sweet Grace? Torque boxes. If that doesn't mean anything to you, don't worry, it took me months to really figure out what they are and what they do. But I'll explain it all, hopefully in my next post. If torque boxes to mean something to you, stay tuned because we'll be breaking new ground for the early Falcon chassis. In the meantime, stay safe and remember: The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a banana is a good guy with a banana.

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