Category Archives: Department of DIY

I made a statement in a previous post that needed more facts, and trees are continuing to kick my butt

I made the statement yesterday that DoD in the Gen IV LS engines was “bad”. I stand behind this statement but clarification is needed.

Most of the LS architecture engine family prior to Displacement on Demand had expected lifespans of about a quarter of a million miles (about 430,000 km). The problem is the components used to implement DoD are not as reliable as the rest of the engine and have the tendency to destroy the rest of the engine when they fail, at the worst, or simply render the engine inoperable at best.How to diagnose DoD problems, DISPLACEMENT ON DEMAND – DOD, Repair Cost and Return on Investment. Chevy Tahoe Collapsed Lifter and that was just the first two videos on the search results that extended for multiple pages.

So even if cam or lifter damage is present since I’m converting the engine to fixed displacement anyway, but I still want to retain the VVT, all I have to do is buy the DoD delete kit and new lifters (sold as LS7 lifters on Amazon and eBay) and a VVT compatible cam for a larger engine than I have and I have improved performance over stock at minimal costs. Basically since I have to buy the cam and lifters as part of the repair anyway, the costs of buying the delete kit are the only cost of the delete, but I have to have the engine in hand before I do this because some engines had DoD delete from the factory, and some didn’t have VVT even though they are Gen IV engines. I have to make sure I get VVT, but that is a simple visual inspection before purchase as even though it’s an internal engine part the control hydraulics are part of the timing cover and visible at a glance.

Now, on the other thing, I’m still having allergy problems. I was supposed to go get my toes done and hair cut, but my allergies just made me sleep later than usual. I woke up about 1530 instead of my “normal” 1400, and my mind never revved up to cruising RPM before the venues were closed for the day. I wasn’t fully functional until after 2000 which is about the closing time for the nail place, and 2 hours after the barbershop closes.

And to end the post here’s a link to a video of stupid fun My Best Burnout EVER Ended With a Huge Methanol Fire… *WAR BIRD Extra Spicy Edition* as you can see from the video the friction from the spinning tires has polished the surface to a high gloss. That’s amazing, concrete polished by spinning tires. AFAIK concrete polishing is usually done when slightly soggy.

Still looking for improved performance for the Sprint-T

I have been looking at the various engines available on a cost/performance basis, and the Gen IV architecture LS family is starting to look better and better. The Gen IV engines come with things like DOD (bad) and VVT (good) to balance performance and fuel economy. I’m looking at the prices for the aluminum 5.3 L engines with VVT that came in trucks and SUVs. They are trending slowly down to something I can afford to pay after getting removed from the vehicle, the oldest being 12 years old now.

The reason I want the VVT is it gives me the benefit of a wide powerband. How camshaft timing affects engine performance and from Richard Holdener Tested-SBC adjustable cam timing. Basically VVT lets the engine controller adjust the cam timing on the fly, with the cam advanced below torque peak, and letting the cam retard as RPM increases to increase upper RPM power. Basically this lets a small cam (short duration) act like a big cam (long duration) at high RPM while retaining the small cam goodness down low. It’s not exactly like a bigger cam, but it makes the small cam better. Since what I’m looking at is making the powerband as wide as possible VVT is what I want. I can advance or retard the cam as needed depending on RPM. I can adjust the cam events to the best time for the rotational speed of the engine.

And I watched the NASCAR Cup race from ‘Dega today, and there were fewer wrecks and the wrecks were smaller than in previous years. Aaannnnnd, congratulations to Brad Keselowski, they had the 9th different winner in 10 races, the playoffs are going to be LIT this year, and the race for the cutoff is going to be cutthroat.

Waiting to exhale, Chauvin found guilty and it’s 4/20

Nothing going on much with me, but lots going on in the world.

I think everyone has heard a certain monster has been found guilty of the murder he performed on camera with his hands in his pockets. If he hadn’t been found guilty I would have joined in the riots. This transcends race, this transcends class. I hope he gets the maximum sentence for everything, and they are served consecutively.

On the other topic of the day, I can’t partake any more because TBI and THC combine to just give me a headache. But I’m firmly on the side of legalization, because seriously WTF?? Basically pot was made illegal because POC really liked it, and hemp was competing with Big Cotton.

Another day, another mass shooting

As I was going to bed last night/this morning I got a notification there was another mass shooting, this time in Indianapolis. The shooter was reported at one time using an AR-style rifle with at least one large capacity magazine. This was after I had put my last post to bed.

This happens so frequently that at least one web site has a boilerplate article that changes as the location and body count differs, but is otherwise static and has had the same headline since the Obama administration. They have already run several articles with that headline this year.

At this point reports on casualties are still coming in since some people were injured as a byproduct of panic but were not shot, and other people were not critically injured by getting shot and did not know they had been shot until they started to get undressed after the shooting. To use an old joke their fracas was injured.

And some people got the news indirectly (yes I know it’s from The Onion and probably not real) after getting questions about the incident from constituents.

And at this point we are still getting reports that I won’t link to that the shooter had a sub-machinegun, or other kind of automatic weapon. So lots of bullets sprayed all over, maybe? And since the shooter is dead presumably LEO have the weapon in evidence, so since it is important to the debate release at least a description of the weapon? Even just the type of weapon would be of use in the debate on which kind of gun to ban since we don’t seem to be doing anything useful to prevent these atrocities from being committed.

Still, one has to question how this would happen if say semi-auto longguns with removeable magazines were banned and confiscated, or you had to have a special license to own one, like machine guns. There have been a few mass shootings done with semi-auto pistols, but the body count was much lower in all of those shootings especially when compared to ones with longguns. And compared to mass murders by a single swordsman there have been none in over a century. Texans just recently had the right to carry melee weapons restored after someone pointed out the 2nd did not specify firearms, but “arms” which included clubs, spears, swords and other weapons which had lost favor as the only worked in melee or ranged weapons that required much more training and practice or upper body strength to use as compared to firearms.

As has been pointed out numerous times, more than can be linked in this blog post, when the Second Amendment was written to shoot multiple people you had to have a loaded weapon for every person you wanted to shoot because the cyclic rate was measured in rounds per hour, not per second. You had to use a barrel and chamber scraper right after firing to remove possibly burning remnants from the previous round, measure out the powder, pour it into the barrel, ram in a wad to hold the powder, wrap a patch around the ball and ram the patch and ball in, and either put priming powder in the pan, or set a cap on the chamber and then cock the hammer, aim and shoot. A skilled rifleman could do that in about 45 seconds if at a stationary firing position, or about a minute while moving from one firing position to another. In the same time a skilled rifleman today could fire 30 times, remove and replace the magazine, and fire another 15 rounds. Precise aim would be superfluous since that many bullets flying downrange in the general direction of the target would hit something important in the general vicinity. And that wasn’t a joke. When you had one bullet per minute aim was important, but one or more a second makes “spray and pray” a viable tactic. And when there’s nobody to shoot back…

And enough of this rant.

Today was a bad allergy day so I have been thinking

I have been having bad eyes all day along with a runny nose, so I have been doing a lot of thinking about making the Sprint-T harder to steal. Before I started I had “removeable steering wheel” and “hidden start switch” on the list. Now I have “install shifter backwards” and “24 bit binary password” on the list.

Actually the “install shifter backwards” wasn’t intended as an anti-theft measure, I was trying to get the shifter to function like a sequential shifter for a manual transmission. Those function with a pull back to go to a higher gear, but without major mechanical modification having PRN1234 ain’t gonna happen, but 1234NRP is there with just turning the shifter backwards and running the cable through a 180° loop so the cable moves in the right direction even with the shifter in backwards. So, pull the trigger and push the shifter the wrong way until the transmission is in first, then pull back to get to a higher gear. So, people who are familiar with cars would be unable to get the car in gear for at least a few seconds.

Now the other “24 bit binary password” is basically a bunch switches connected so that when the switches are arranged in the correct order it makes a series circuit. I’m thinking I should use the ASCII binary code for R, U, N, 😁 or G, O, !😁 Anyway I need to have a sequence I can remember. The other way to do it is connect the switches to a microcontroller and have it turn on the ECU. Now this can be bypassed by hot wiring, but that requires much longer than what it takes to get police there by cellphone.

And that’s about all I have to say today, so I’ll end this here.

Allergies still kicking my butt

And something is making my joints hurt also. My hypothesis is I’m getting some kind of inflammation from the allergies and that is having a negative effect on the joints that are bothering me. If so, this is another fine mess, to quote Oliver Hardy.

If you clicked the link to the parts catalog I posted day before yesterday you might have noticed something missing, prices. This is a common thing for auto parts sold through multiple channels. Depending on volume and how close to the customer the vendor works there were color-coded price sheets issued that had wildly different prices on them. When I was selling auto parts there were sheets for to the warehouse, from the warehouse, to the mechanic, and to the public. Most of what we sold used the to the public sheet, but we did get a steady mechanics business so we had to have that sheet as well. There used to be an industry standard for the color code, and 40 years ago to the public was lemon or goldenrod, to the mechanic was mint or green. I think, like I said this was 40 years ago, and at least one TBI, so I might be hallucinating all this. I also might have the colors mixed up, but anyway, this is why there are no prices in the GM Performance Parts catalog either in print or on the web.

And as an example of my random access mind, when I posted the quote from Oliver Hardy I remembered watching Laurel and Hardy shorts in the mid-60s from a station in Tacoma that was showing the pre-code L&H shorts that had gone into public domain. They were a little racy, but didn’t actually show anything that you couldn’t show on TV of the period, particularly after they had been cut for “commercials”. One scene in particular I remember was the boys sitting in their underwear after having to get cleaned up after something made their outer clothes too dirty to be seen in public, and they were waiting in a woman’s apartment. Their wives showed up with guns and yelled about the boys being “cheating scoundrels” and firing off a shot. Cut to an external shot of men jumping out the windows of the apartment building, by the dozens. Stuff like that from more than 50 years ago I can remember clearly, but more recent things I need to remember?

I was considering changing that massive front axle to drillium, but I’m having trouble figuring out the safest places to apply the tramsmogrifier to change it from steel to drillium so it doesn’t fail in use. Or in this case where do I use the drill and how big a drill do I use? I want enough strength to not bend from severe bumps but weigh as little as possible.

And from just a few minutes ago, I have an appointment for my second Moderna shot on the 12th, at the Dallas Fair Park FEMA vaccination site. I’m 16 days away from 99% immunity!

More tree sex messing up my life and more drooling over parts catalogs

I’m stumbling around half blind because of pollen, mostly tree pollen, and I’m looking at the E-Rod packages in the parts catalog I just got yesterday and just drooling in anticipation, wishing I had the kind of money required to order one of those delivered to my garage.

Actually what I really want is an electric powertrain kit with a choice of packs I could install, like the two gas tanks I planned for the LS powered version of the car. Have a big pack for long trips, and a small light pack for race day. As I see it, the small pack could be part of the big pack and the big pack could recharge the small pack when the big pack is reconnected to the car like between rounds of racing. There are already devices made to do this as part of their design, but usually they make everything equal during charging, rather than balancing capacity during use, but most will work either way.

Not much to say about tree sex and loss of vision, most everybody gets to deal with it to one degree or another. For those lucky ones who haven’t (yet😈) what I experience is a white haze obstructing my vision, similar to how my ringing ears obstruct my hearing. Most days it’s more annoying than an actual problem, but then we get days like today when I get intermittent complete whiteouts and zero visibility. The biggest problem with that is there is literally no warning, I can be walking along minding my own business and all of a sudden I blink and the world turns off-white. Usually a few seconds later and I can mostly see again, but there have been times today that it takes several minutes to see where everything is enough to not hurt myself walking. To call it annoying is severe understatement. The only thing I can do is wait it out until I can clear it up by blinking.

I’m still researching the idea of using a motorcycle brake handle to operate a hydraulic throwout bearing to use on a clutch so I can eke out a little more gas mileage and better power transfer out of tight corners. Google is baffled by the concept and sends me articles on converting motorcycles to hydraulic brakes or clutches, but nothing about what I’m asking. There is a guy who has hand controlled a manual transmission car, but from what I’m getting about this is there is a whole bunch of electronics involved with that, especially the clutch. I just want to know if there is enough fluid volume from the MC brake lever for a hydraulic throwout bearing, and is there enough mechanical advantage to work the clutch if there is enough fluid to get enough travel to operate the mechanism. That is a lot to ask for a master cylinder operated by a hand lever.

And I’m still fighting whiteouts from allergies which is making me angry, and not conducive to writing anything because I don’t think good when I’m angry, as in angry makes the aphasia kick in extra heavy. I can’t think of words and make sentences when I’m angry, which makes writing difficult. So, between not being able to see, and anger-induced aphasia making it hard to write when I can see, I think this is a good time to quit while my laptop is still functional.

I need to write something, again

And once again I have no idea what to write about. This has happened many times before, and what usually comes out is confusing to read at the best. At the worst it is unintelligible.

I know part of why I’m writing this is procrastination. I have to send a letter to claim my pension from a former employer that I did not part from on good terms. The process to claim is confusing and annoying, and also I have to do it by writing longhand because my printer is snafu. The printer works fine, it just can’t communicate with my computer because it needs a parallel connection and all this computer has is RJ-45 and USB. The printer is older than either of those standards, so yeah, pretty old. The printer used to have a serial port that connected through the parallel port after a conversion from serial to parallel, but it died. I have other printers but they need ink and interface cables to work and right now can’t even do a self-test page.

I have been thinking about a lot of things, and nothing. Basically I have been allowing my ADD to run rampant but failed to remember anything I might have stumbled upon that might be useful. I remember one thing I thought about was using a motorcycle or bicycle master cylinder on the shift lever so I can get a hand clutch that doesn’t require three arms to drive the car. That way I can have a manual shift car when I only have room for 2 pedals in the foot box, because I still haven’t bought a transmission for the car yet. The previous design iteration was a 4l60E, before that was 4l80E but that’s way heavier than the 4l60, and almost every manual transmission is lighter than the 4l60E. On top of that is the ability to do a “clutch kick” to break the rear tires loose when desired with a manual. A couple of other things, one is there is a lot of rotating mass that comes with an automatic transmission that can’t be reduced that can be reduced with a manual, and another is that there is no slippage in high gear like there can be (and usually is) with a torque converter. Lockup torque converters usually have tiny clutches that are sized for power required at a steady-state cruise, and even they slip if asked to do too much. A clutch for a manual transmission generally doesn’t slip until it’s worn out. So, that’s one of the things I was thinking about when I let my mind run free, a hand clutch that didn’t require 3 hands to change gears and steer so I could shed some sprung weight and rotating weight.

I thought about other things unrelated to the Sprint-T, bicycles, women, or cooking meat (to give a short list of things I did think about that I can share subjects). The reason cooking meat came up is we bought the smallest spiral sliced ham they had in the store and we still had 3 or 4 times as much as we could eat, and at some point I’m going to cut the bone shorter to fit in the slow cooker with beans and spices to serve with rice. I like using the slow cooker to get the last bits of meat off the bone, because slow, wet heat causes the meat to fall off the bone as the connective tissues dissolve away in the hot water from both the heat and the water.

As I activated my ADD powers I had to take care to remember what I was thinking about, because unlike a google search ADD doesn’t have a history link. As you might imagine doing that is… difficult.

Not much going on but I still Must Write

I’m at somewhat of a disadvantage this time, usually I have something going on in my life to write about, but today I’m going to “just wing it”.

First of all we had another massive storm system literally blow through last night, and while we are unscathed areas around us were not as lucky. Nothing spectacular, about what you would expect from a large T-Storm complex with hail. Similar to that batch of tornadoes from a while back, but even less damage for us this time.

I’m wondering how much longer my luck will hold on this, we have had to replace the roof twice since 2012, once from accumulated damage over the years, and once a year and a half ago from debris dropped on us from the tornado that went by about a quarter of a mile or so away. Most of it was small and light, but there were some heavy chunks that fell from the big light stuff. They did damage to a large enough area of the roof that the entire roof needed to be replaced. This year we are lucky so far.

Other stuff, I’m waiting to hear back on my second Moderna shot, ditto Mrs. the Poet. The weather was beautiful today and I hope it holds, because tomorrow I need to get my taxes done. I finally got all the forms together, which was a struggle because they are a mixture of paper and electronic and I’ll have to e-mail them to the tax preparer if I can’t hand them to the tax preparer. That part is always a bit nerve-wracking, because there’s always that little fear of sending my financial information to the wrong person by mistake. Seriously, I’ve been doing internet since the late’90s, and I have had enough times where e-mail went the wrong place because of a typo or just flat-out the wrong information… Seriously, I’ve been doing internet things since before Al Gore “invented” the internet during a debate on TV (he was on the committee that approved the appropriation that created the internet), and I have seen a few mistakes along the way. So, I’m a little leery of sending important information via the internets.

And I really need to get to bed because I have to be awake in time to get to the Tax lady. I have an appointment for 1330, which is normally after I wake up.

Still trying to maintain a daywalker sleep schedule

It’s a major pain in the tookus, but I’m trying to get and remain on a diurnal sleep schedule. I was up as long as I could stand it yesterday, then took a long nap right as the sun went down. With the weather finally stable for a bit my sinus headache is faded into history, which improves my outlook considerably. Hard to be positive when it feels like you’re getting punched in the face.

On other things I’m doing a little IT stuff for the woman we used to rent a room to back before Mrs. the Poet retired. She’s been trying to do her unemployment through her cell phone, but the touchscreen keyboard isn’t working well for her when she’s trying to use the TX unemployment system. Basically it’s not a Mobile-friendly website. And considering I saw Win98 (not 98SE) computers in their offices last time I tried to use their job-hunting system when Win7 was coming out, well let’s just say their IT is nowhere near the cutting edge by several generations of computers. And their web site is about the same, nothing close to cutting edge, just about a half a step above “barely functional”. The best that can be said about it is it works well with a regular computer.

And because thinking about it makes me mad, I’m not going to write any more about how my tax dollars are wasted and not providing services to citizens.

The relationship between us and the woman we used to rent a room to is, peculiar. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not sexual, although there is some tension about it in the relationship. I just don’t know about it. Mrs. the Poet says this other woman is lonely, and needs to be around people, and we seem to be the only people she gets to be around. I wish I had the words to describe it, but this is beyond the vocabulary I have. She’s about the same age as Mrs. the Poet, just a couple of weeks younger. They even have birthdays in the same month…

And after those epic posts of the last few days I seem to have run out of words I can share for today.