Category Archives: Department of DIY

Going to miss the Fair this Year

Due to a combination of bad weather and finances we are going to miss the State Fair of Texas this year. It has been cold and rainy the past two days, to the point I’m actually wearing a shirt in the house, and all the AC units still working are now shut down. I even slept under a blanket for the first time in ages, April or May at least. The office temp has warmed up to about 64°F.

One of the reasons I go to the Fair is to look at the cars, both for ideas for the T-bucket, TGS2, or Sprint-T, and because we are also looking to change our car-free status some day. Mrs. the Poet is having more and more trouble getting around, so at some point we are either going to have to buy a car, or get a subscription to Lyft or Uber or something. The other reason we go to the Fair is to try the food. You know, some of that deep-fried badness that tastes so good and is so bad for your arteries. But Mrs. the Poet can’t walk so good and especially with the weather turning colder her mobility is even more restricted. So with the forecast calling for an 80% chance of rain, and temps in the low 60s or high 50s F it’s pretty much a no-go this year because getting to the food takes lots of walking. There is discount food on Senior Day, but to actually get a meal you have to go to several vendors, because the cheap drink is one place, the cheap dessert in another, and the award-winning main dish is all the way over on the other end of the food area that’s about a quarter-mile away, leading to miles of walking between the car show and the food chase. So, no Fair this year. And because of the rain we have been having there has been a lost of flooding, both from rising streams as well as flash floods because the soil is completely saturated and there’s no place for the water to go except into the streets and storm drains that are already backing up because of rising streams and rivers.

On other fronts, I’m doing beans and rice again tomorrow because I need to help the food budget and that’s about the cheapest big meal I can make. The ingredients cost about $3 including spices, and because I’m using a slow cooker I’m not using much electricity either. And I really like the end result after the 8-9 hour process. And I had better like it because the recipe I’m using now makes enough food for 2½ dinners, or 2 dinners and a side or light lunch. So if I don’t like what I fix I’m seriously out of luck. When Mrs. the Poet is out of town that goes double because that means 5 meals in total from that one batch of cookery. Now if I chose cheaper ingredients it would be even cheaper, because brown rice is expensive compared to white, and there are less expensive varieties of beans I could use, but it wouldn’t taste as good and as many meals as I get from one batch of beans I need it to taste as good as I can make it.

Getting back to the Sprint-T for a few words, the deal with the transmission on the EJ20 Subaru engine might be a few pounds heavier than other possible combinations, but the cost of the combination is less than the cost of a rebuilt T5 transmission alone for the RWD conversion of the Subaru, not to mention tons less work because I don’t have to make a new bellhousing that connects the Subaru engine to a Borg-Warner (now made by Tremec) transmission. The transmission is one of the few things on the Sprint-T that weight is less of a concern than cost or ease of installation, because it sits in the middle of the car front-to-rear and just has a negative effect on the power-to-weight ratio and doesn’t affect things like polar moment or balance.

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Doing an experiment and saving my favorite pair of shorts

I have been experiencing much pain in my right hip that I believe is caused by sleeping on a worn-out futon. So I have been sleeping on the bed in the guest room to test the hypothesis, which after two nights is partially confirmed. I woke up this morning with only mild tenderness in the hip muscles over the actual hip joint instead the actual crippling pain I was waking up to. I felt so good I walked to a place about a mile away where I could by the cats food with the money I had in the card I got from the one gig I had that I can’t even describe without violating the NDA. While I was there I also picked up some shoelaces to repair the drawstring in my favorite pair of shorts. So anywho, I had some problems with getting tired at the end of the walk that affected my balance, but my hip was primo.

And I should have slowed down and taken some pictures of the repair job, but the frayed drawstring is now in the garbage can and the shorts tested just fine when I did the pull-down test after I pulled the drawstring up as tight as I could get it. The repair was actually fairly easy, I pulled as much of the drawstring out of the shorts as I could get, put what is called a bight, basically a u-turn for the string, and threaded the end of one shoestring through it to make a square knot. Rinse, repeat with the other end of the drawstring, then tuck the knots inside the waistband so they don’t come undone later. Then voila my favorite shorts no longer fall down around my ankles when I sneeze, inhale, or bend over and stand up straight quickly. 😈 I can now walk to get the mail without fear of arrest for indecent exposure if I get an allergy attack on the way back to the house from the box with only one hand free.

I mentioned walking to a store a mile away for a 2 mile round trip today, well this was the second 2-mile day in a row after taking the long way out and back to buy a Lotto ticket yesterday, with no hip issues at all either day. So Mrs. the Poet and I are discussing what we need to do to get the good bed into our room. I just want to swap the mattress to the futon frame and the futon to the box spring, while she is saying to move both beds from one room to the other. I’ll update you on the final outcome of the debate after we come to a conclusion.

Saying is one thing

Doing is another. Apparently telling myself to not think about building the T-Bucket is about as effective as telling my senators to not vote for a serial sex abuser for the Supreme Court. And that is about as much as I’m going to say on that subject. Anyway, even after I decided to stop I still thought about building the Sprint-T. As in thinking about how much power the JDM EJ20X Subaru engine made stock, 260 on 93 octane at 12 pounds of boost, and the factory compression ratio is a very 87 octane friendly 9.5:1 for driving around at zero boost. So the plan to tell the engine to leave the waste gate open and dump boost with 87 octane and pump up the jams with tons of boost on E85 is sound from an engineering perspective assuming the ECU I buy is compatible with that 2 map scenario. I know the Microsquirt has a second fuel/air table that can be mapped to boost as in a separate table that starts at 100 kPa (sea level atmospheric) and goes to whatever the MAP sensor I install stops reading, which with the GM 3 bar MAP is 300 kPa (100 kPa is the same as 1 bar) and the Microsquirt comes from the factory calibrated to the GM 3 bar sensor. This would result in off-boost using the 87 octane fuel map, which would be leaner than what would be best for full power with E85, but there’s no way around that except swapping $314 controllers for racing or buying a controller that costs more than buying two $314 controllers. Incidentally one of my overboost control schemes is pushing the injector pulse width to 100% to possibly stop the engine from firing because of too much fuel, or to at least make it run really bad and keep it from blowing up. This is a “Last Stop” scenario, as in last stop before the engine destroys itself. A good engineer tries to prevent disasters before they happen by doing what I do best, thinking about things, in this case things that could go wrong and what could be done to either prevent it or undo it.

I was also thinking about the gas tank/fuel cell some more, specifically how much room I had to the left of the centersection of the quick change rear axle. This is important because I need to have clear access to the centersection to change the spur gears to adjust the final drive ratio and tune for the course. I made the executive decision that rear overhang was not an issue as long as it was stuff that wasn’t heavy for racing, regardless of how much it weighed for normal street or in-transit driving. Also thinking about range between refueling and that possible transit across Wyoming for whatever reason, I made the SWAG that the Subaru engine in the Sprint-T would get 27 MPG highway. I did that from 2 data points, my old Hyundai with a 4 speed transaxle without overdrive got 33 MPG driving to and from Nashville from Dallas back in the early ’90s, and even the Hemi engine in a Ram pickup is rated at 22 highway. With the QC rear axle I could pretty much select my cruise RPM no matter what transmission I eventually got so the big problem would be the drag of the exo-frame around the bucket body. And I bundled all that and extrapolated 27 MPG. My sitting limit is about 5 hours depending on how supportive the seat is and how hydrated I am, so I really want to have about 5-7 hours of range, just in case, and tossing all those numbers in a blender set on Puree gives a range of tank size of 12 to 20 gallons, with the cheap and available 16 gallon cell falling right in the middle with 430 miles from full to tank dry. And with the product I intend to use for the fuel pickup tank dry is really tank dry.

I really, really want this car built, and I want to be the project manager for the build. And I want to race it at Goodguys and SCCA regional and national Solo races after driving it there without putting it on a trailer. Trailers are for cars that are not really street cars.

And this is the twelve pack of microfiber cloths I bought at Harbor Freight.
pack of microfiber cloths for washing things

When you don’t want to write about the only thing you can write about

Yep, I’m hitting the wall on the Sprint-T. I have a ton more content to write about, but just writing and not building is starting to get to me, as in frustration that nothing is getting done. This is a familiar scenario for me: planning for something for years and then having to drop it when it becomes inescapable my finances are not going to stretch far enough to allow completion of the project. I thought this time was going to be different, because I had a large reservoir of money to draw from when I bought the body. Then my parent’s house sold for about 1/3 of the appraised value and I lost $125K instantly from the budget, which was about 4 times what I had budgeted for the project. Projects don’t go very far when your budget goes more than $90K in the hole before you even get started. Then it looked like we were going to get a chunk of the money back, not all, but enough that I could finish the car, and I bought a few more parts like the axle and steering arms, and things beyond my control tanked it again. Now if I’m lucky I’ll have enough money to keep paying the taxes and insurance on my house until I’m no longer able to live here.

So, I don’t want to write about the car, because I’ll never even get a decent start on the car, much less drive it. Which makes writing about it rather pointless, don’t you think? Until I get enough money to finish it writing about it is a work of fiction. Low fantasy fiction, a fabrication of words instead of steel, aluminum, fiberglass and other stuff. It’s at this point that if I was sane I would be tearing out my hair in frustration, but since I’m already crazy I’m past going crazy from frustration. I’m so tired emotionally I just can’t muster the energy to pitch the fit I need to pitch to clear this from my system. Yay depression, saving the world from my anger. 😛

Considering the length of time I have been wanting this, and the cumulative time I have been planning this (this is the fourth go-round for planning this build since 1987) experiencing frustration should be considered normal. I have a sketch of what I was planning at work in 1998 back when I was working as much as 20 hours a week overtime and hauling down some big bucks working for TI making logic chips. but that job went bye-bye. Then I had the MiniMax ultralight airplane project to distract me for a while, plus I was a spoken word poet (Opus the Poet was my stage name for years) for several years, and I built and sold custom bicycles for about 4 years until that dried up in the recession of 2006. So I had some creative outlets to distract me. And as the saying goes, want in one hand and poop in the other and see which hand gets filled first. So wanting is not enough, learning fabrication skills is not enough, writing incessantly about the project for years is not enough, none of it is enough if you don’t have the money. It all comes down to money, which is something I have only a passing relationship with. As in I wave as it passes by.

So, what long-term subject should I write about now? Covering bicycle wrecks almost pushed me over the edge sanity-wise, can’t go back to that. Brain damage killed my ability to rhyme and use scansion, so poetry is out. And in spite of how depressed I am I’m not going to commit suicide. There’s a really good reason why my character in Shadowrun is nearly immortal. And getting killed really hurts as I know from experience. I can’t seem to get a coherent narrative going for writing fiction that isn’t about building an imaginary hot rod, but I do seem to have a decent ability to world-build and outline. I just can’t write dialog to save my life. So, gentle reader I implore you, what’s next? What should the Witch on a Bicycle who can’t ride a bicycle anymore write about? Anything but politics. 😛

Not doing much but I did do something

Yesterday was nothing special, but I did manage to get some things done. I got a massage, finally, and my leg feels great because of it. I also dropped by the local Harbor Freight and got a couple of things I needed to get, including a 12 pack of microfiber wash cloths, the big ones we can use in the shower. The ones I got over the summer are more like face cloths and are just a touch too small for use in the shower, but these are 4″ larger on either dimension so we can stretch them behind our backs and over the shoulders for cleaning where we can’t touch directly. I also picked up some super glue for repairing the Hummels the cat knocked off the shelf, and what is called a flap disk for prepping metal for welding, that fits in the angle grinder. I have a project for my camping friends that requires welding on a steel drum covered in what appears to be powdercoat that will require a lot of mechanical cleaning. This is not a secret project, I’m just repairing the smoker/grill that has a rusted out firebox, so we can have smoked brisket again.

On the Sprint-T front, I have discovered a local source of Subaru JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) take-out engines, cheap. As in complete engines with everything except the ECU for <$1000. I will have to find a flywheel and clutch to use a manual transmission, but really this is a great deal. Now if I only had the $1k and a means of getting it home. And from the same vendor they have the same model engine except for a manual transmission, complete with the Subaru manual transmission all ready to go into another AWD Subaru for <$1600. I contemplated using the OE Subaru to have AWD on the hotrod, but that would require stranding the straight tube front axle and all the money I dropped into prepping it. And TBH while it would probably be faster I'm not copacetic on how legal it would be for Goodguys autocross. I think it would be legal for SCCA Solo racing in A-Mod or E-Mod with ballast, which I would have to use for balance anyway because I can't move the powertrain right to balance the driver. And speaking of balance the front-to-rear balance would be off because the engine would be hanging in front of the front axle, ahead of where I would normally mount the radiator. That's a whole bunch of weight moved way forward of where it would be with the RWD setup, plus a lot of ballast to get to class weight that I could probably set right in front of the rear axle to get the weight back without increasing the polar moment too much but still because I would have to add about 1200 pounds of ballast to make class weight. There is a penalty for both super or turbocharging, and a penalty for AWD, and the weight penalties stack, plus a minimum weight for the class that I will be drastically under anyway. So, all things considered I will probably not install the unit as AWD and probably convert it to RWD by welding the center differential or replacing it with a spool and removing the front drive components. This will probably end up being the cheapest and quickest to build option I have, along with the most reliable and repairable, as all the repair parts are available at my local Subaru dealer.

The fun part comes with buying a standalone ECU to control all the performance functions on the engine. The engine has variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust that can be either bang-bang controlled or PWM controlled to get smooth transition between the available timing settings as RPM increases. Bang-bang control gets the same end performance benefit with a hard transition between modes at a set RPM that can vary depending on if the RPM is increasing or decreasing and is simpler to implement at the controller and for some ECU bang-bang is the only available mode. The downside is the abrupt change in engine power as the valve timing is changed. PWM uses the same engine hardware as bang-bang, but changes the control from either all the way off or all the way on to a little on that gets more on as RPM increases and less on as RPM decreases and gives more power than bang-bang control during the transition. The PWM control starts at a much lower RPM than bang-bang and usually doesn't get fully engaged until a higher RPM than the bang-bang control because the RPM parameters for bang-bang are chosen for the best average power, resulting in too much timing or too little depending on which side of the bang point you're looking at. So PWM gets more power than bang-bang during the transition, which is important for Autocross and SCCA Solo Racing. So I have to look for a controller that has PWM on the output channels that would be used for what Subaru calls AVCS. The fun part is ECU that have PWM valve timing control start at ~$900 and just keep going up from there . The Microsquirt controller is cheap ($314) and has bang-bang control but is a major pain to set up especially for the valve timing control. But for the price I could live with it especially compared to the Holley ECU. About the only thing the Holley could do that the Microsquirt can’t is PWM control over the variable valve timing, things it can do better are pretty much all related to the number of outputs the Holley ECU has that the Microsquirt doesn’t, like individual control of each injector and ignition coil because where the Ms has control of two injector drivers and two ignition drivers for 4 cylinders, meaning they have to be batch fire and waste fire respectively for a 4 cylinder engine, the Holley has 12 of each, meaning there will be at least 16 useless connections on the Holley, but better control over ignition and fuel. Also the Ms controller requires a software upgrade of about $100 on the laptop side and $209 in additional hardware to set the variable valve timing control and a few other variables where the Holley comes with all the software needed to control all the things (and at that price it better come with all the bells and whistles). Either one is going to need harness modifications to connect to all the things that require connections.

And of course whichever one I get will require dynotuning for anything more than just getting it to run, especially the engine speed to change the cam timing, so add a few hundred $ for that for both ECU.

Yesterday was very nice

We finally managed to get to the upscale burger place for my free burger after taking care of various errands at the bank and other places where we paid bills. Then we set about the circuitous bus ride to the burger place, and about an hour later we had covered the 2.9 miles between the bank and the restaurant, arriving just before 1700. This is the route that doesn’t run on weekends and why we didn’t go on my birthday.

Mrs. the Poet got the free burger and I spent my money on the MadLove Burger which is quite a mouthful. This was yet another ½ pound burger this month, after the one we had in the restaurant in Lewisville the week after our grandson’s birthday when the family friend visited from England, and also the ⅓ pound burger from Whataburger this week, so I think I have had my allotment of ground beef patty for the month. To go with the burger was what they call “bottomless” fries, and I got two rounds and the waitress offered another round of fries and another round of my Diet Coke to go. This was after we had a chocolate sundae big enough to split for dessert. When I got home I was pleasantly stuffed.

I am still thinking about the T-Bucket, and how to power it. I’m still flexible about using a FWD power unit as a mid-engine unit because I’m not sure what will fall into my lap. Now obviously I will not be legal for Goodguys autocross that requires the engine to be sorta close to the stock installation, which is not what I would have with the FWD power unit mounted in the back. But, I would have a SCCA A-Mod legal and street legal T-bucket to drive and race. I fact I was planning on doing just that with the 3.8l V6 and automatic transmission a few years back that I almost got from someone who wanted to get rid of a minivan that wouldn’t pass safety inspection. I think Mrs. the Poet managed to talk the van owner out of letting me have the vehicle because she didn’t want a mess in the driveway. But since I really need something for a RWD drivetrain, to be Goodguys legal, I’m hoping I get something I can at least convert easily to RWD if it doesn’t come that way in the car. And my research has shown there are many such engines available and I discussed some of them before in this blog. So I have to remain flexible about potential candidates for the engine, especially with the (extremely) limited budget. So if you know anyone with a car or truck with a running engine who needs to get rid of it and is somewhat local to me, have them contact me at this blog with a private comment (I think that is still an option with the plan I’m using) about how to get it.

And I need to get off the computer now, so bye until later.

We have actual cool

The office temperature was 74°F (23.3°C) this morning! It was cooler than that when I went shopping for a solution to the drain plug problem we are having in the kitchen sink and redeemed a coupon for a free Avocado Bacon Burger at the local Whataburger. Then it was about the same as it is right now outside: 66°F.

Mrs. the Poet is not sure she likes the solution I found for her constantly failing drain plugs: what Lowe’s calls a “suction stopper” which is basically a round sheet of rubber that covers the drain, and a stainless mesh filter that fits inside the drain and removes for cleaning. Total cost $7 and the only failure points are eventually the rubber will age into uselessness (almost typo that would also have worked: “uselessmess”) and the mesh can be torn if a fork gets caught in it. Unlike the one we bought last year for $3 at the local grocery that has a built-in failure that is pretty much guaranteed because that’s exactly how all 3 of the last ones we bought failed, there is a barbed insert that fits through a hole in the rubber stopper, and after some use the water pressure in the full sink will overcome the tenacity of the barbed insert and the stopper gets left behind when the rest of the assembly is removed to allow drainage. This is another design defect in that the strainer has to be removed to drain the water so it doesn’t actually strain the debris from going down the drain. The new plug and strainer doesn’t have this failing.

I’m still thinking (Danger Will Robinson!) about the Sprint-T design, this time about the lateral location device for the rear axle. With the various types and sizes of tires I will be using some adjustability in the rear suspension to change the balance of grip front to rear. Looking at the many ways to get this adjustability the simplest way is adjusting the rear roll center height by moving the vertical attachment of the rear lateral location device. Well, I did the bending stress on a 1.125″ fine thread bolt and for the LS and lighter engines this will be just big enough to not fail in long term use. There might be some flex while racing, and it is a definite failure point if I bang a curb with the right rear tire on the street, but the flex will not be noticeable to the driver and I’m not supposed to be banging curbs anyway. Construction will be super easy: After I cut the pivoting piece for the Watt’s link I cut a 1.125″ hole in the center for the pivot bolt then weld a fine thread nut with a grease fitting over the hole and machine out a bit of the arm to clear the bolt in use. I don’t know how much adjustment I will actually need and I could probably rebuild the mount for the pivot arm with only as much bolt as I need left unsupported from flex after I finish testing. Then I could just machine away the rest of the bolt past the support structure and save that little bit of weight.

Speaking of saving weight, I’m having some issues with how to attach the bracket for the Watt’s link to the rear axle housing, mostly because I still haven’t settled on which rear axle to use, the nine-inch Ford with an aluminum center section and a fabricated aluminum housing and axle tubes or the Winters V8 quick change with a magnesium center section and aluminum side bells with aluminum axle tubes. The generic Nine Inch would be a touch cheaper and has more clearance at droop, while the V8 is slightly lighter and has a better selection of final drive ratios. That availability of final drive ratios might be the thing that swings the decision. Anyway, the Nine Inch housing will have to have a mount welded on the back, while the V8 can have the bracket bolted with longer studs on the side bell, making modification a simple matter of unbolting the test bracket and bolting on the permanent bracket, another point in favor of the V8 QC axle.

And this once again points out that designing a car from scratch is a good thing to do for us old people with ADD because there are so many sub-systems that have to be hashed out so progress can still be maintained when interest fades on whatever I’m working on at the moment.

Negotiations have been made

Mrs. the Poet and I have negotiated a peace for our time. She has agreed to a date for the trip to the upscale burger place so I can get my free burger and I can buy dinner and we can sit down together and share a meal out. The problem is Mrs. the Poet has a back problem that causes her to drag her foot and finds the 0.4 mi. walk to the bus stop uncomfortable at best, with varying levels of pain when it’s not the best, and I have funds that I have earned from various gigs that I wish to spend on her, taking her out to dinner. The compromise is sometimes she has to go out and do financial things in person at the bank, and when she has to walk the 0.4 mi. anyway she might as well go out with me. I know that doesn’t sound like much for some people, but I count it as a win.

Yesterday we had a RPG session/dinner. I have noticed a tendency for my fellow party members to insist I do the tank thing because “the Old Man can’t be killed” which is “not factually correct”. My character can be killed and has been killed once in session, and three times in back story, and getting killed is “not pleasant” for me/him. I mean seriously, if my character wasn’t already insane but functional, getting killed over and over would push him over the limit. Of course the game setting we are in human or other sentient life has minimal value to the society, so they are just playing the way the setting dictates. The dinner part was the guy who hosted the game had attended a catered soiree and got to take the leftovers home, then they had dinner, and we got to have dinner from the leftovers of his leftovers, and were sent home with the leftovers from our dinner. That’s a lot of leftover.

Something else that has been “fun” has been the paperwork for signing Mrs. the Poet up for Medicare, which she has to do this year or else face a financial penalty. They can’t call it a “fine” because fines are either a criminal or civil punishment for breaking a law and require a court judgement, and this just gets assessed without going to court. Of course almost none of the docs we have been reading are in English, American or otherwise, but are in that opaque dialect most of us call “legalese” which is close to actual English, but some of the words don’t mean the same. In fact some words in legalese are the exact opposite of the same spelling in English, being the meaning they had 200 or 300 years ago when legalese was declared the official language of laws. Anywho, wading through the paperwork has been so much of an exercise we could count it as an anaerobic workout.

And one of the things about building a car from nothing is there are so many sub-systems that require planning that they are separate projects in and of themselves, like the fuel system. I have been looking at the fuel pumps and fuel fillers for the 16 gallon fuel cell blanks Speedway Motors sells, specifically the one that has a long dimension of 25″. I have been thinking of putting that behind the rear axle on the left side to clear the center section and QC gears that will be offset to the right to line up with the engine that is offset to balance the driver on the left for racing. Street driving is not as critical about left to right balance compared to racing, because street driving almost never gets to lateral accelerations or transitions where that degree of control is important. So I can put the heavy gas tank on the same side of the car as the driver for the street as long as I drain the gas out before going racing and switching to a tiny tank that has just enough capacity for one or two runs that doesn’t change the balance of the car as the run progresses. And I could use another blank cell as the trailer storage tank for holding the gas while I’m racing or driving ridiculous distances between gas stations. I think 32 gallons total should be enough to cover the distance between gas stations no matter how far apart they are in the real world. Seriously, the 16 gallon US tank will be enough capacity to get me anywhere east of the Mississippi River without fear of running out of gas, and doubling that will take care of west of the Mississippi without range anxiety. Also I have been looking at a Holley part that bolts to a fuel cell in place of the plate that holds the filler cap and functions as a filler and also holds the pumps and the connections to external plumbing to feed the engine, but there is a snag with using it for the way I want to orient the blank fuel cell in the Sprint-T. The standard assembly from Holley only works up to a 12″ deep tank, and as I want to use it the tank will be 17″ deep. Normally this tank is 25″ wide by 17″ long by 9″ deep, but I want to rotate it to make the 9″ dimension the length and the 17″ dimension the depth. In reality it would be less expensive to use separate components for the filler plate, pumps, and pickup, and do the same thing performance wise as the Holley assembly, but it would be less tidy, especially since I will have two tanks to feed from. Using just one external pump with switched pickups between the two tanks will be cheaper and less complicated. There is a 3/8” hole in the center of one face of the 25″ by 17″ dimension that was formed by the manufacturing process used to mold the cell. This would be the perfect place to route the line from the pickup to the pump as for street use it wouldn’t be that much of a restriction to have two right angle fittings on either side of a bulkhead fitting. Inside would run to the pickup, outside to the switching valve between the two tanks and the fuel pump. Installing the filler plate would be the same as installing the Holley assembly except without the falderal of making sure the pickup on the fuel pump(s) reach the bottom of the tank.

Now on the trailer tank the 3/8” fitting will probably be used as a drain to transfer the gas back to the car after the race day is over. And the pump doesn’t have to be the same high-pressure/high flow pump used to keep the fuel injection fed on the car, it just has to move gas at a reasonable rate at no pressure in particular from the trailer to the car through a filter. Gotta use a filter transferring from one tank to the other, the transfer from the car to the trailer likewise has to go through the fuel filter so the gas going to the trailer is free from dirt so the filter going from the trailer to the car doesn’t have as much work to do. If I could put a filter on the filler I would do that, too. Dirty gas is very bad for injectors.

And now I need to read my e-mail before the battery dies.

Weather has ruined my B-Day celebration

Well weather and DART scheduling. The restaurant that’s giving me a free huge hamburger for my birthday, doesn’t have bus service on Saturday, which is my birthday. So we rescheduled for tonight so I could still get the free burger and also share dinner with Mrs. the Poet. Weather forecast for dinnertime is flooding of Biblical proportions with temperatures around 80°F. Obviously Mrs. the Poet is not going to walk the 0.4 miles (0.64 km) to the bus stop in the rain, wait for the bus in the rain, wait for the bus for the trip home in the rain, then walk the 0.4 mi home from the bus stop in the rain. Ain’t gonna happen, Mrs. the Poet is almost 5 years older than I am and has suffered through more physical jobs than I had, and her body just does not work that way anymore. It hurts her and she won’t put up with it anymore.

Now this offer can be redeemed until the end of the month so we might try to do this next week, when the weather forecast is better. I have a card that is good for the place we are going that will cover her meal and my drink and dessert so all I need to cover in actual money is the bus too and from.

I stopped thinking about the engine for the Sprint-T, because I was thinking about the aerodynamics. Specifically I was thinking about the underbody aero, and the design requirement that nothing hang lower than the tire bead at normal ride height to prevent damage in case of a flat tire. The specific issue is streamlining the center section of the rear axle while leaving room for the axle to droop to full travel. I have to leave room for 1.5″ droop plus a little extra for the drain plug or access to allow the gear oil to drain when changing the quick change gears. According to my catalog of rear axles of the likely choices the Ford 9-inch is the one that comes furthest from needing a hole because it already hangs 5½” below the axle centerline eating up the entire 2″ travel and clearance, but everything else is worse. The V8 QC center section hangs 5.75″ below centerline, and the standard sprint QC center section hangs 6.0625″ below axle centerline. The belly pan hangs just 7.5″ below the axle centerline and the axle droops 1.5″ so anything hanging more than 5.9375″ below the axle will need a hole to pass through or it will make a hole on its own for me. The other alternative is to let the bellypan terminate where the center section would protrude, or use a different rear axle.

Not a good day, but not a bad day

This is a bad weather day, pretty much rained all day with a small pond in the back yard. The cats had interesting reactions, Clyde went out and played in the rain and mud, while Clint moped around the house and complained about the rain like an old man. Whatever, it never got above 80°F all day between rain pulling cold air from the upper atmosphere, clouds blocking the sun, and a weak cold front passing through.

Now the circle on the Sprint-T has come back around to the LS engine with the possibility of winning the LS1 engine from the Dale Truck Pulling the engine on the Dale Truck From reliable sources on the internet (assuming the scale in that YouTube video was accurate) the engine weighs 400 pounds ± with fluids and exhaust headers. This is a scoshi bit more than the Subie with the T5 transmission, and does not include the fact that because of the weight I can’t offset the engine far enough to the right to make room for a clutch pedal, so I will have to use an automatic transmission which adds 162 pounds with fluids for one designed to mate to an LS engine, or if I can find a bellhousing that will fit an LS they make 70 pound Powerglides. That would require running a ridiculously high final drive, and basically result in a car that never gets out of first gear in town, or on the autocross course, but I could make it work. Running the numbers though I think I could get better race times with the 162 pound transmission as well as better gas mileage. Also going back to the V8 means a slightly heavier frame to support the larger engine because the engine mounts are wider apart than on the Subaru.

We also went grocery shopping today, and as Mrs. the Poet keeps saying, we need to stop eating. We bought a few things we could probably do without but still including feeding the cats for the month we spent $70 this week for just two people. But if we limit just to the cats and poor people food we still spent over $50 this week on essentials, and the cheapest essentials at that. Food has gotten stupid expensive around here, no kidding. Both the discount groceries on this side of town shut down a few years back, but at least we aren’t stuck with a Whole Paycheck as the only close option, just a Neighborhood WalMart and a Tom Thumb that are close enough for the ice cream not to melt before we could get home on the bus, and the WalMart is pushing very hard on that time limit depending on the time of day.

Something interesting I have noticed is all my earbuds have frequency response that changes with the volume setting on my phone, I get more bass the higher I crank it, and when I have just enough volume to hear I get mostly midrange and higher. Very odd, that. I don’t know if the phenomenon is because of the earbuds physical size, or because of the fact I have 60 YO ears and I spent a lot of time around unmuffled racing engines and machine guns in addition to getting my bell permanently rung in 2001. It could be a mix of the two. Anyway current writing jam is a little heavy metal Grieg by Apocalyptica, Hall of the Mountain King, on YTM. It’s on my public playlist Violent Songs, and short of using actual people as percussion instruments it doesn’t get more violent than this performance.