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Its been a while

Since I have touched this page.

Life moves on.  The Z is a running race car, which means something is always breaking.  Right now that is the motor management which means that the car currently has a high rpm drop out on the crank sensor which I am struggling to figure out.  Could be noise, could be I don’t know what…

I think I am finally done with Facecock.  It has gotten to the point of being an annoyance more than anything else.  So maybe it is time to start writing here again.  Or not.  We shall see.


Hours and Hours…

Well I am in the home stretch on the 240Z

Wrapped up the exhaust and fuel system this weekend,  Was all ready to work on ensuring the timing as such were right with the old timing light.  But when we cranked the car it seems that the coil circuit is blowing its fuse.  I originally thought the D581 coils were LS1 coils and wired them that way.  After exhaustive head scratching and research on the inter webs it seems that the coils may in fact be LS2 coils and they are flipped from what I have in the car right now.  Sigh…

I ordered new pigtails as my custom made pigtails can’t be easily changed over (I think and will verify tomorrow) as you have to run the wire through the connector and then crimp and solder the little metal ends on and then draw them into the connector.  If that is in fact the case I will not be able to reuse the connectors easily and getting GM pre made pigtails would be easier.

So Officially I have two things left to do.  The parking brakes and the fender flares.  I hope to knock the fender flares out this week or weekend and then the parking brake soon after.

Race season is upon us and I am ready to drive the car after the last 500 or so hours of wrenching on the car.

Gas tank

Well one of the other big hangups with my Z build has been the gas tank.  The one that came with the car was in pretty good shape on the outside but unfortunately there was gas left in it since 1984 or so when it was last on the road.  So the inside of the tank is horrible.  It is like Godzilla took a shit in there and they just sealed it up.

So I went to my buddies secret Z parts hideout in PA a few weeks ago and picked through his tanks.  He had 3 sealed tanks and they were all spotless on the inside, no rust whatsoever.  The outside however was a different story.  There was tons of surface rust.  I took the worst of the lot as my buddy still needed a tank or two.  Here is the tank once I had wire wheeled it a little and before the Red-Kote coating that is going in the tank because I may be using E85 in this build.


I had to wait this long to do the Red-Kote because it had to stay above 60° in order for me to coat the tank.  Well it was in the eighties this weekend so it was time to coat the inside of the tank


You can see more surface rust on the bottom of the tank and the last of the Red-Kote dripping out.  I had to then wait 24 hours before treating the rust on the outside.  So first thing in the morning I set it out in the driveway to bask in the sun.  Around 2pm it was time to treat the rust.  I am using Corroseal as it actually chemically converts the rust instead of just coating it and isolating it from the atmosphere like POR-15.  It goes on white and creamy.


After a few hours anywhere that was rust turned black while anywhere that was bare metal or old paint and primer it was clear.

Most of the bottom of the tank was fairly rusty so now I have a nice black tank in most places.


Now I will give it another shot of primer and then black paint out of a rattle can it will be ready to go back into the car once I mount and plumb the fuel pump.

Its getting closer to running every day.

Rats nest

Well I have spend the last week or so soldering and running wires from all of the sensors.  Now I have to get a stepped bit and go through the firewall for the Megasquirt wiring harness so I can start taking care of my wiring mess.


I will be spending lots of quality time with my soldering gat over the next day or so when I am not working.

Fun in the Sun

Well I competed in the DC Pro Solo this weekend.  I was DFL in my class, but I knew that was probably to be my fate going in.  You have to start somewhere and my last pro event was in 2007.  I had not felt those kind of butterflies in the stomach since my first few auto crosses many many years ago.

I was not driving the car as hard as it needed to be driven, but that was ok with me.  Its not my car but I did have a really good time doing it.


The funny thing about this photo is it is really the first photo I have of me driving a car at a pro and its my buddies car.  When I look at all of the other photos of my old 350Z which was my last autocross car, it always had my buddy driving it, so it all evens out in the end.  I will be purchasing this photo from Perry when he makes them available…

You know there is a lot of grip when you have two wheels off the ground.

Now I really really want to get my car finished.  This little taste this weekend reminded me just how much I missed autocross…


Got my ass handed to me last night at darts…  Wednesday night is league night and this is my first season playing in a league since 2006.  I am on a team in the B Division.  I was about that level when I stopped playing in 06.  Now I am still getting back up to speed so maybe a high C level.  So needless to say I am bringing up the rear on my team.

Well after feeling pretty down last night after getting home I decided to take a look at the opposite team stats this morning.  Seems I was playing against their best shooters, so I don’t feel so bad now.  I did manage to make it close but made a tactical error and I should have know better.  Col. Mark beat it into my head, but my head is hard.

Kind of sucks for me, but you play the hand you are dealt.  I feel sorry for their worst player who got stuck playing against our best player, hopefully he can take it with the same grain of salt I did…

Dear old Dad

Well in the process of building my race car I have been having long talks with my dad about the build, giving him progress updates and such.  Most recently it was about relays.  I know what they do and have replaced them before but have never needed to wire one into a system before.  We talked about relays for a while and I got that all straitened out in my mind.

Discussions then went on to the TPS and just how to figure out which pin is which on the TPS, as most manufacturers won’t tell you which one is which for fear of a lawsuit no doubt.  My dad has forgotten more about how electronics and such than I even knew.  We just need to get the old meter on the contacts and take a look.  I will have him on FaceTime for that exercise, it should be fun.

Next we went into the Megasquirt ECU that I will be using and talking about how to get things wired most easily.  Dad was very interested in how that part of the project will work.  The last time he rebuilt a car or changed a motor they all still used points.  Sequential Fuel injection and Spark are a long way from that.   Its getting to a fun point now.


The custom intake is now bolted in place, more wiring has been done on sensors as the water temp sensor is in, and the air temp sensor is in the intake just behind the air filter.  The Cam sensor is an optical distributor without the distributor cap as its not needed.  The Crank sensor is all the way down at the bottom and is a hall effect sensor reading a trigger wheel bolted to the back of the Damper.  I would show you a pic of the other side but it is just a mess of loose wires right now…

I can still sit in the front seat and make vroom vroom sounds for now.


It is amazing how much spam starts to show up as soon as you start blogging again.  For weeks I had not gotten any spam.  Now after posting for a few days I have 30 spam messages.  But thanks to Akismet I don’t have to touch any of them.

Some of them are pretty funny.


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