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. 😛

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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.

That was a scare

I had a medical scare yesterday when the calf on my injured leg blew up. Not as in bomb blow up but in balloon blown up. And blow up as in suddenly get really swollen to the point that it hurt, which is unusual. When I get swelling in the normal course of events the worst pain I get is a dull ache in the lower leg, but yesterday it was a sharp pain, pain. That and the sudden onset of the swelling, were what caused the worry about my health, because the damage from the wreck leaves me at high risk of a DVT, a Deep Vein Thrombosis. Then equally as sudden the swelling went down so fast I could feel the fluids leaving my leg, like water draining out of a container. That was a new sensation, because usually it takes several hours with the leg elevated for the swelling to subside. I posted a pic of the swelling to my twitter account so I could get some feedback about the situation, and the consensus was I needed to go to an ER to get it checked out. I was bailing on my RPG group because there was an exciting race scheduled for the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup, at the Roval in Charlotte, but when I discussed the situation with them I had a volunteer to take me to the ER closest to the house. Which was good because the quickest I could have gotten to an ER by bus was about an hour.

So, I was taken to the ER by a member of my RPG group, and they poked and prodded a while and called an ultrasound person in from Dallas who is about 30 minutes ± from the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Then they did the ultrasound which took another 30 minutes ± and another 30 minutes for the consult to decide they didn’t know what it was but they did know what it wasn’t: it wasn’t a blood clot. So not a potentially lethal DVT, but a mystery condition that I will get to relive at some point because once it happens once it can happen again at any time. Yay my life! 😛

On the Sprint-T front, I’m staying flexible about the engine, I got told the minivan engine is still a possibility, there is that LS1 that is a prize in a give-away, and there is a Subaru 2.0l non-turbo engine that might be dropping in my lap. I have so many maybes, all long shots, but nothing I can count on. In fact the minivan engine and transmission is my best shot, followed by the LS1 and close on that is the Subaru from a wrecked wagon, which is why it only has a 2.0l non-turbo engine. This is also why it might be dropping in my lap, because it apparently is not a very desirable engine as it is only 2 liters and normally aspirated, and has more than 100K miles on it before the wreck. I have been looking at the numbers and even without the turbo this would be a decent engine for the Sprint-T. Without the turbo we are looking at a race weight of 1260 pounds without driver which doesn’t require much in the way of outright HP to get moving on the autocross course. The benchmark I use is the 2017 Z06 power to weight ratio of 650HP/3450 pounds, which works out to 238 HP from the little Subie engine to match the Corvette below 60 MPH, and the rated power runs from 130 to 155 stock normally aspirated on 87 octane but can go as high as 300 with the turbo, stock. I’m thinking the 238 number on a higher compression engine built for 87 octane NA but running 100 octane E85 and light boost is easily obtained and will also come with good gas mileage on 87 octane. The minivan engine and transmission has already been monologued to death a few years back, it’s the same unit I was writing about then. The LS1 engine has been dyno tested at 450 ± WHP while in the Dale Truck and will raise the race weight of the Sprint-T to about 1500 pounds (±) which would be about the same as a 1000+ HP Corvette.

While I was researching the Subie engine to compose this post I came on a mismatch between the installed engine for that year and what I was told about the engine, so what I would actually be getting is a matter of conjecture at this point, as the wiki stated the 2.0 engine for that year was turbocharged with an 8.0:1 compression ratio, which would be pretty crappy off boost. There was a non-turbo engine that year but it was a 2.5 liter, not the 2.0 the guy tells me he has, so…? Again beggars can’t be choosers and if he gives me the engine I will probably use whatever it is due to lack of choice, but I will probably put a turbo on it anyway. And if it was already a turbo engine then I will raise the boost for racing with the E85 fuel, and also tune for best mileage with 87 octane regular which will probably restrict the boost to a couple of pounds before knock sets in.

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.

I’m bad at managing devices

I have been having issues with devices running out of battery power. I need to conserve the laptop for doing things that need a physical keyboard, and use my other two devices for reading Twitter and webcomics. I have my phone that only connects to the Internet via WiFi to use for web browsing and also playing Klondike solitaire, my actual phone I can call people on for that and Twitter, and this laptop for actual things involving many words with actual letters and not emojis. If I work it like that I have enough battery life to do everything, otherwise I end up missing posting to the blog because the only device I have with charge is the phone I play solitaire on, with the really crappy on-screen keyboard.

I’m still thinking about the Subaru engine installation in the Sprint-T. One thing I have been thinking about is intake packaging with the turbo not behind the engine, and setting the car to run on 87 octane regular for transit and 100 octane E85 for racing. Now if I get a junkyard 2.5 engine and rebuild it to run on 87 octane as a NA engine with a huge waste gate that basically only allows ~ 1 pound of boost when open and set it to be always open, then install a water to air intercooler with an ice reservoir for running boost then I can tune for best mileage with the regular gas. I just need to have a way to switch between the two tunes at the track so I can tune for best power at all RPM points for the E85 tune for the Goodguys autocross, then switch back to the 87 octane for the trip home after running out the E85 to prevent it from going stale in the tank. Basically I’m looking at a storage tank in the tire trailer that holds the transit gas after it gets pumped out while changing from street tires to autocross tires, then pumps the transit gas back into the transit tank to use after the race gas is burned from the race tank on the way home. Yes, this system will have two gas tanks, a big one that weighs lots when full and gives me the range to get to races even when I have to drive through I-80 in Wyoming or western Utah and eastern Nevada where there can be hundreds of miles between gas stations. Not that I expect there to be any events that require such range, but it’s good to be prepared for that and not need it rather than need it and not have it. As I was explaining this the thought came that I could use the storage tank in the trailer as a range extender if the situation arose that I was crossing vast gasless wastes. When the transit tank gets low enough pump the extra fuel stored in the trailer into the transit tank.

I just realized I never mentioned why I would use the water to air intercooler rather than the stock Subaru air to air intercooler. Well there is the ducting issue, a water to air intercooler can be installed in the manifold plenum and get fed directly from the turbo, and as I can use icewater as a coolant the possibility of having an intake charge colder than the outside air inside the manifold can be used to enhance performance, combined with the fact that water to air intercoolers flow air almost like they weren’t there to maintain unboosted airflow for better transit gas mileage. In a new installation without previous parts all of these advantages really add up. To summarize, lower weight, less restriction and colder charge temperature compared to air to air at a similar cost even including the pump and ice tank. That’s if I get a junkyard engine without all the intake stuff.

And as I was composing this post we had another mass shooting with a confirmed 4 injured and unknown number of dead, in an industrial park in MD the third mass shooting in three days. As per usual the GOP response is “Too early to talk about new laws, we are sending thoughts and prayers to the victims.” That is great guys, how about sending paid in full for their medical bills since you have been doing fuck all about preventing these events? At least that would be accomplishing something!

Yesterday was a mess

First up, the RPG session was cancelled because one player had an out-of-town relative drop in. Then something biological nailed me right in the eyes and I ended up semi-conscious most of the day and night. I woke up about 0330, very thirsty. I have no idea what it was except it really made my eyes hurt, like I had been hit in the face, and the only thing that did anything for the pain was lying down and closing my eyes.

Now why this was a mess was there were two races on TV yesterday, and I was semi-conscious for both of them.

I managed to be alert through the end of the first stage of the NASCAR Cup race in Las Vegas, then I was zoning in and out until the end, and I didn’t catch the winner. I heard some bits out of the middle of the final Indycar race of the season in Sonoma, but not the end of that one either.

Obviously I wasn’t able to get much thinking done being mostly out of it.

Now today I get to go to the bank again and find out who has been spending my money. By my calculation someone else has taken about $70 from my account since the first of the month, and I only get $100 a month. I have some actual physical money that I can use for bus fare to get to the bank, which is good because the available balance on my card is negative and I can’t use my phone to pay for bus fare until it is positive. If I get a PM pass it’s good until the last bus home and I can pretty much go wherever I want, like before when I bought a day pass, only this is cheaper than a day pass. Basically this is the same price as the old 2 hour pass only since they raised the price of the day pass it also raised the price of the AM-PM passes by the same increment over the 2 hour pass. So I will get the PM pass and go to the bank and find out who has my money without authorization. And then I will give them a new one, verbally, before I send LEO to arrest them. I don’t have much to steal, but I get really pissy about people stealing from me, especially when they clean me out. Seriously I was expecting to get the money that was stolen 9/3 back by Friday, not to have everything else plus a couple of bucks taken. Seriously, if you ever encounter a company called Just Answers on the web, shut down your browser and disconnect from the web. They never refunded my $5 trial membership, then they took $46, and I strongly suspect they are involved with the money vanishing from my account over the weekend. I will make another post later once I verify that one way or the other.

Changing Internet provider

The week-long outage and the failure to deduct that week from the bill, combined with a WiFi router limited to 25 Mbps or 50 Mbps through the RJ-45 jack, pushed me to check out Spectrum for our internet, phone, and TV service. Part of the problem I have been having has been with the router bottleneck, and part of the problem was the old equipment not working with my new laptop, but the biggest problem was not refunding money when there was no service. There have been 4 service interruptions of longer than 24 hours and not one adjustment of the bill to reflect that. What really made me decide to change was losing everything for a week, 25% of the service period, and no adjustment of the bill. That is theft and fraud in my eyes.

And of course my mind has been wandering around the place thinking about various vehicle projects I could be doing if I had money. Besides the Sprint-T I have been thinking about a SCCA A-Mod Solo racer, with several variations for powerplant and drive train. I looked at everything from a 670cc Predator V-Twin to the LS1 from the Dale Truck, with a couple of other motorcycle engines thrown in for good measure. I only do that when I’m bored or upset, and Thursday night I was both.

And I’m back, sorry. The battery on the laptop doesn’t last very long and it shut down in the middle of composing this and then I had to leave for meeting a family friend for dinner that turned into an overnight stay with my daughter and her family. Dinner was a cheeseburger with enough meat to feed an Ethiopian family of 4 plus two orders of fries and all the Diet Coke I could drink, while Mrs. the Poet had the quesadillas and tea. I’m slightly embarrassed at the size of the burger, but anything smaller was on the kids only menu, or like Mrs. the Poet’s dinner on the appetizer menu. I really wanted a burger, so that’s what I got. And in a few more days I’m going to get a similar one for free for my birthday. Where’s that eye-bulging emoji when you need it?