Just checked to see where I left off yesterday, and I had just walked the 1.8 miles from Beltline to the Wal-Mart for the Hot Wheels Legacy event in the DFW area. I spent the next 90 minutes or so wandering around the outdoor car show and checking out the vendors’ booths. There was free stuff given away but you had to either be a kid or bring a kid with you, and the line was like 40 minutes long. I saw the HiPo Hauler from Gas Monkey Garage, but none of the Monkeys, if they were there. I also saw the full-scale Twin Mill from the original release in 1968, and a buttload of contestants for the next round of release, including a vehicle from the local Zombie Apocalypse group in Arlington, which was based on a Subaru station wagon and had the hood off so I could get a good look at an EJ engine in the wild. I wasn’t prepared for how tiny it was front to rear. It was as wide as I expected, but since it was NA instead of turbocharged I could clearly see the whole engine and the 430 mm (16.9″) front to the back of the block measured I saw earlier looked a bit on the generous side.
I needed to grab a drink and something to eat so I stopped at the Sonic and got a Route 44 (as in fluid ounces) diet Coke and a sausage breakfast burrito. I really needed the rest and to get off my feet, and I also needed to rehydrate since there was absolutely no shade in the car show area and I was baked dry. Then after I finished the drink I put the rest of the ice into my water bottle so I would have something cold for the trip home. I still needed more water when I got home.
Then I had today. I got a slightly delayed start and saw the bus go by as I was getting to the corner, which means I missed the bus by less than a minute, and had to wait about an hour for the next connection to the game. Fortunately I got to wait in air-conditioned spaces as the next bus was only 5 minutes later on the outbound part of the loop, then I got to sit in the station while I waited for the bus to the game. I walked 0.7 mi from the bus stop to the GM’s house, and she had the AC set on kill and my seat was right in front of the vent, so I ended up getting a cramp in my bad leg because it got too cold. But enough of my problems, let’s talk about the game.
When we left off before we had just captured the toxic shaman and rendered her unconscious for the trip back to Dallas. Our mage used frequent asses and clout spells to keep her out like a light. The mage was the hero of this session, constantly casting spells until we got to Dallas and a summon could take over the job so he could sleep. Then we had to contract with a Coyote to get us across the border to Chicago so we could collect the ¥1,000,000 bounty. Yes, in the Shadowrun universe they are in different countries, Dallas is in the CSA and Chicago is in the UCSA which is part of Canada. While we were en route to Chicago our cargo plane was attacked by a thunderbird somewhere over what used to be Missouri. I managed to get 2 shots from my arm gun at it to no effect and our other gun character sent a burst of 6 rounds at it that finished it off as it was a bit of a glass cannon, shooting magic lightning but only 4 body and zero armor made taking even one hit from flechettes or explosive rounds (my, and the other gun character’s ammo respectively) would result in an instant kill. After that we delivered our unconscious toxic shaman to the place offering the bounty with no further problems, and the ¥250,000 payment was sent to each of our accounts.
Game session over I hoofed it the 0.7 miles back to the bus stop to catch the bus back to Garland Station and the last bus home, then dinner about 2030.
Well I went out and did some shopping as depicted in the photograph.
This is my new exercise weight and car repellant. I needed something heavier than my 2 pound hand weight but was not comfortable with buying 5 pound weights which was the next step up, plus I only have the one free hand when walking. It needs a name, but I’m not comfortable with naming it after Thor’s Mjolnir, because number one it can’t live up to the name, and two I’m not Heathen or Asratu, I’m Eclectic Wiccan and I follow (sort of follow) a Greek forge god. Actually I look to Hephaestus as more of an inspiration than a focus of worship. But that still leaves me with a nameless hammer.
I also got some nut driver sockets for use with my drill, and some 12″ by 12″ (cut size) wash cloths that were free with the coupon. And on the way home I redeemed a coupon for 2 Ultimate Cheeseburgers for $5 and added small fries and a small drink, and now I’m stuffed. I ate an actual pound of meat, plus cheese and buns, small fries and a Coke Zero, and I was still able to walk the half-mile from the convenience store where I bought the Lotto ticket to my house, but I think I’ll skip the ice cream tonight.
Also, I got the installed measurements for the Subaru EJ engine in an Impreza wagon and I have to say it’s looking pretty good. The height and width are slightly more “as installed” but the really good number was the firewall to front pulley number. This is the installed distance between the two points and allows for 11″ of clearance for the intake and the intercooler and is all behind the rear face of the block. This is longer than the input shaft on the T5 which will handle the output from the 2.5l turbo engine just fine. And that means I can move the engine even further to the right because the bellhousing will be clear of structure. That’s a 250 pound engine mated to a 80 pound transmission for a total powertrain weight of 330 pounds. The offset has to balance my weight of 225 pounds in driving suit and helmet that has an arm of 11.25″ or 2531 inch-pounds or engine offset of 7.67″. That’s going to hang a lot of the right side of the engine out from under the hood. When I started on this project I was looking at a 545 pound engine bolted to a 125 pound transmission that only put out 100 more HP. I went from 1700 pounds without driver to 1360 and lowered the CofG significantly and I only need to tune an additional 15 HP to get the same power-to-weight ratio. That’s a tank of E85 and a few minutes on a dyno adjusting boost. Seriously, at this point I have to say I think I have found the closest thing to a perfect engine for this beast, if I can find one to install.
I was doing pretty good on the back pain issue until I caught the bus home from yesterday’s game session. There was a hole in the grass that the mower just skimmed over disguising it as a perfectly flat surface, and of course I stepped in the hole. What causes me the most pain is not the uneven surfaces I know about, it’s the sudden drops into places I can’t see. Stairs are usually no problem unless the surface I’m stepping on is not the surface I will be walking on, like a loose stair that is actually sticking up that I expect to take my weight immediately instead of the milliseconds it takes the stair to bottom out. Well hidden holes in grass are the same thing, I expect the solid surface to be in one place and it’s an inch or so lower so my back is not properly set up for the landing, which then really hurts.
On the T-bucket front, someone suggested another engine family that would work, the Subaru EJ. It’s compact, about 28.5″ wide and about 15″ long for the 4 cylinder versions, about 22″ long for the sixes, and has dual overhead cams and 4 valves per cylinder, and later versions have VVT (Variable Valve Timing) and some 4 cylinder models had factory turbos. Now the best combo for the GoodGuys events is the VVT and the turbo, which has good low RPM torque combined with high RPM horsepower. That’s because VVT adjusts intake and exhaust events for best power at each RPM point and the Subaru engine lets the computer adjust intake and exhaust separately for even better low speed power and response. This lets the turbo spin up quicker which improves mid-range and upper RPM breathing and power. Engine weights are reported to be about 200 for the 4 and about 300 for the 6 NA engines with the factory turbo adding about 50 pounds to the 4, and not available on the 6. There is an active aftermarket for both versions but biased towards the 4 cylinder, so light weight and lots of power can be had. The stock NA and Turbo versions do very well in SCCA Solo racing, so GoodGuys in the bucket will be mostly matching gear ratios and transmission ratios so the engine is in the best part of the power curve when power is needed. Most of the engine weight is at crankshaft height which helps keep the CG low which aids handling. The debate is does the low RPM grunt from the 6 offset the higher weight and reduced power because of no turbo? There are kits to install the turbo from the 4 on the 6 that are reputed to retain the low end grunt while exceeding the power available from the 4. And there are kits that purport to give the turbo 4 the same low-end grunt as the 6, without increasing the weight over the factory turbo or reducing ultimate power produced. But in any case the main advantage is the low center of gravity offered by the horizontally opposed cylinders of the Subaru engine.