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March 6th 2009

Was the last time I bought a dead tree book1.  Its not because I don’t like the dead tree format, it is more because I like the ease of acquiring new books, ease of storage, ease of reading as I consume a lot of books quickly.  When I was traveling extensively it really sucked to be a heavy reader, as you can only bring so many books when you are headed out for 6 ~ 8 weeks to a non english speaking country.  Dead tree is heavy and takes up a lot of space unfortunately, also since 9/11 airlines have these crazy bag fees and kill you with them if your bag is one kilogram overweight.

Then came the Kindle 1 and I was meh… no real selection in Science Fiction.   Along came the Kindle II and I got one a lot more books, but it was not without its problems.  I had a mysterious battery drain issue when out of the country (yes I had the wireless turned off) where the battery life would diminish after I had finished reading books it got worse after every book, it got so bad at one point I had to recharge the thing every other day.  Then came the iPad.

The iPad brought me not just the Amazon store2, but the Nook store, and Apple’s hot mess3 that is iBooks.  It also allowed me to go to my favorite purveyor of books who are putting out ebooks in the Baen’s eBook website and I was finally able to put it in a format I could read on something other than my computer.  Life was good for a voracious reader.

Yes life was good for the consumer but it killed competition which is bad for the consumer.

Borders: Gone.

The mall book store: Gone.

Barns and Noble: just about gone nearest one is half an hour away.

Books-a-million: Meh never liked it as the section for Science Fiction sucked.

I really never ordered a dead tree book off of Amazon except for a couple out of print really hard to find books.  But I usually always went into Borders and the mall book stores when I was in the mall, and frequently bought books especially hard backs from authors I loved and could not wait for paperback at the local book stores.

Where am I going with this ramble???

Well upon hearing that some new books were out from authors I have read in the past I went to go order them, but I was appalled at the prices I am seeing on Amazon.  I will not pay 12 dollars for an eBook of something that I would have typically waited till it was in paperback and pay 8 dollars or less.  I am just not going to do it.  Worse is that the prices just don’t come down for months or even years for some authors.  I have purchased Baen4 eARC books for 15 dollars before, but they were mostly the “Oh John Ringo no” series, Michael Z Williamson books, and a few David Webber books.

Now I am spending a lot of time buying the $3.99 and under selections in the science fiction section of Amazon .  I have found a lot of good to great authors that have self published, most of the misses have been in the less than 2 dollar range but there have been some real gems there also.  But the big names (Jim Butcher. Patricia Briggs, Terry Prachett, etc) who bring their ebooks to the market at above 10 dollars will just be placed on the wish list and maybe purchased in a few years when the price is reasonable, or maybe I forget about the story and why I liked it so much and don’t bother buying it at all, which is what I have done with Jim Butcher books.

I don’t mind paying 6 ~ 8 dollars for a known quantity but that is my maximum, except for Sci-Fi from L.E. Modesitt.

There is just is not the expense behind the eBooks that there was behind the dead tree format,  Yes amazon takes their cut but so did Borders.  But eBooks  do not have to be printed, shipped, stored, or stocked5

It would be interesting to hear from some authors on eBook pricing, but that is my take.

 

 

  1. besides special books and first editions of something I really really like or something I read in the 80s that is out of print and I really want to read it again
  2. which is verging on if not already a monopoly
  3. yes it is a mess, finding a book to read is a horrible and slow experience and unless you know an authors name you are really shit out of luck.  A three year old could make a better interface to buy book than Apple did with iBooks.  One of their rare fail moments.
  4. Baen has always been special for me as a Science Fiction fan, as almost everything coming out of Baen is a home run or damn close.
  5. other than putting it up on a website and I am sure that is mostly automated by now
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Wheels

Well here is a photo of the Z with its shiny race wheels.

It is rolling on 18X10s on all corners.  Will be doing the fender flares on the car in the next weekend or two…

 

CCW wheels
CCW wheels

Oh and a shiny motor is in there now too…

Intakemanifold3

Still have to finish up the wiring but if the Z gods smile on me I should have it running shortly…

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Really….

Yes its been a long time since my last post.  Much progress has been made on the 240Z, though old man winter has harshed my mellow on the time frame.  I might have it running in two weeks but there is no way my shake down event will be the DC Pro too much to go wrong.

The 2.8 liter motor from a 280Z is in the car and I have the shiny custom intake and headers bolted up to the block.  I have the LS1 coil packs also bolted in the bracket and the bracket attached to the block.  I have all the cabling to the injectors done and the fuel rail ready to bolt on.  I have the first coil pack wiring harness done and have five left to build, which should take a few hours with all the crimping and soldering to be done.

After that I have to wire in the Crank and Cam sensors, the water and air temp sensors, and the MAP sensor.  Then wire up the Megasquirt ECU and it will be time to crank the beast over an make sure the timing is correct (coils firing and injectors firing) and the cam and crank sensors are configured correctly.  Then add fuel (after I bolt in a fuel tank and fuel pump) and see how things go…  I will probably have my buddy Alberto over for this as he has gotten cars running and tuned before…

All of my writing lately has been on facecock but I am thinking I am going to curtail almost all facecock activity, as it is a time suck and I really don’t like it other than updates from my racer buddies.  So I will try and post here more frequently.

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240Z update.

Well it has been a while since an update.  I have been busy.  I have the struts sectioned and my brakes from Arizona Z cars finally showed up.

My welder took a while but finally came through.  If you look closely you can see my boo boo.

Nov16weekend001.jpg

I don’t know where I had a math/measurement error.  I knew the total length should be 14.9ish inches but somehow I cut too much out and some how I got 14 inches.  I even measured it again after thinking I was cutting an awful lot out of the top section of the strut.  Well I got an extra weld in… but it all came out ok.

Got them all painted up and started with the fronts.

Nov16weekend002.jpg

Next up was starting on the front hubs nice ARP studs pressed in.  Little did I know that I should have pressed in the bearing races first to make things easier.

Nov16weekend003.jpg

So here are the Wilwoods in all their glory.  I got the parking brakes but not sure about the cables yet.

Nov16weekend004.jpg

I picked up a set of bearing and seal pushers.  Was not too sure about the set but for 30 bucks what could go wrong.

Nov16weekend005.jpg

So putting in the studs too soon made me work a bit harder to get the bearing races pushed in as I now had to contend with the extra long studs.

Nov16weekend006.jpg

So I got the Wilwoods bolted to the strut but then ran into an issue where the hex cap on the brake caliper itself was a 9mm.  I do not have a 9mm hex socket or even a 9mm hex key.

Nov16weekend007.jpg

So it was on to another part of the project.  My OS Giken came a couple of weeks ago but I ran into the dreaded 110mm ring gear on my old 3.54 diff out of an auto 240Z.  So after getting a couple of scammers trying to sell me Diffs for 400 bucks on other sites I found blue72 had an auto diff out of a part out car and he got it shipped to me.  But as I was in the middle of the strut project I did not get to it till last week.  Then figured out that I needed to get a new set of bearings and that took a week also.

Nov16weekend008.jpg

I pressed on both bearings and if I had it to do over I would only press on one bearing, as I had a bunch of difficulty getting the bigger OS Giken with both bearings pressed on into the diff housing, but I finally managed it.  I put new oil seals on for the output shafts and O-rings on the inside of the side covers and have a new gasket for the diff cover.  So I will put that on and get it all buttoned up and ready to swap the rear diff and get all the new bushings put in at the same time.

Nov16weekend009.jpg

One question, I have never worked with non sealed bearings.  There was a TON on old grease in the space between the bearings in the front hub.  I throughly packed the bearings and liberally greased the spindle but did not add a bunch of grease between the bearings.  Is this just a bunch of buildup that people don’t clean out between re-greasing their bearings?

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Because Racecar.

Well the 240Z is underway. The suspension has been yanked. One of the spinel pins was original and the other was obviously replaced at some point in its life.. Probably when my buddy put in the Tokico shocks and springs. It was never on the road since then so the shocks and springs are mint, but out with the old in with the new.

The spindle puller I got from Hybrid Z forum member was a beefy piece of kit and it did the trick with no discernible wear and tear on the tool…

The fronts I got all stripped down with no issue. The rears stub axels on the other hand laughed in my face. My 600 foot pound battery impact was just laughed off. I went to my buddies house and the first bolt came loose with his Air Impact tool but no joy on the second one. Finally with his bench vise and 2 foot breaker bar and our 400 pounds of meat finally got the second one to come loose. Do those nuts really need to be that tight???

Then it was on to getting the spring perches off of the struts.

SectioningPrep1.jpg

As this was my first time grinding on metal or cutting things with an angle grinder it took a long time for the first one.

The second one went much faster.

SectioningPrep2.jpg

So by the time I got to the fourth one it was a pice of cake.

SectioningPrep3.jpg

Still have not cut off the brake line tabs on the front struts yet and will have to do it at some point.

My pipe cutter finally showed up on Saturday afternoon and I got busy cutting some 2 inch pipe into 1 inch rings.

SectioningPrep4.jpg

Now I just have to do a bunch of measuring before I cut the strut tubes down to size. I am doing Koni 8611-1259 inserts and they are double adjustable ones with the compression adjustment on the bottoms of the inserts so I need to make allowances for this in the fronts.

I have done extensive reading on Hybrid Z about how to deal with the adjuster and it looks like the only thing you can do is cut the bottom and then take the two bolts at the bottom of the struts off in order to adjust them while they are still on the car. Has anyone found an easier way to make the adjustments on the compression easier than taking the knuckle arm off of the bottom of the strut?

No rushing as it has to be right the first time…

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Coming to my garage soon..

Already settled on a price…

Will be picking it up from PA when I get home…

20130822-074116.jpg

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National Airborne Day…

Once upon a time…

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Just one more example of how much we have lost…

Sigh.  Now we are reduced to sticking out our thumb to ride into space in the Soviet Union’s 60′s technology…

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Going somewhere

Not sure if anyone is reading this or not but if you are

Here is what I am up to…

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=896312

And my spot tracker is here.

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0m0qPidEHFS9KmPWKv1EPlnI6QUgqZ84R

All my writing is being done there.

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Today’s idiot on the road

Today was a hard choice. There were several and I narrowed it down to two finalist on the way home. The first was the guy reading his mail on the steering wheel. The second finalist and winner was the guy eating something out of a bowl in his lap with a fork.