Friday, August 19, 2016

Failed / Worn Out Parts

I my other post about Ms. Swan I mentioned that the top strut mounts were cracked "scary bad".

This is what I meant:



As you can see, this crack runs about 180* around the rubber, and if you look at it from a different angle, you can see the reinforcing fabric in the rubber.

The rubber parts on the sway bar end links were worse than this. The rubber parts fell apart as I was taking them out, and the cushions that mount the bar to the chassis were equally bad.

These were the original parts the car was "born" with, and I think it's a testament to the design and manufacturing quality that the Toyota Engineers put into them that they lasted 30+ years, and 167,000 miles.

The last time I did a complete front end rebuild like this was in about 1979 or so, when I did it to my 1975 Volkswagen Scirocco.

That car was only 4 years old, and the parts looked this bad.

Almost everything on the driver's side of the front suspension has now been rebuilt or replaced. The last thing I have to do is to replace the lower control arm bushing and the ball joint, and then start putting it all back together.

The nice thing about putting it back together is that everything is CLEAN! 


Which reminds me.....I really NEED to buy a Parts Washer!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Take A Ride In A "Hot Wheels" Car!

This is just TOO COOL....
Ride along on the Hot Wheels car as it travels through 8 different track sections all connected by teleporting tunnels. From the backyard to the big hill to the pool and back, this track’s got it all.
Each section worked on its own from tunnel to tunnel. The cart is powered entirely by gravity at all times.
In total there are 11 cuts in the video, 7 between locations and 4 for slow motion footage. The jump section and the loop section were filmed twice, once in 30 fps and again in 120 fps, and the final video cuts from the normal speed footage to the slow motion footage for the duration of both the jump and the loop.
The cart worked reasonably well underwater and only fell off the pool track a few times. The main problem with the pool track was keeping the track connected and in place. A rock was attached to the end of the track in order to weigh it down.
In total about 200 feet of track was used, nearly all of which is present in the 4th section. Filmed with a GoPro Hero4 Session mounted on a modified 2014 Pharadox car. Filmed in California and Colorado.
SPECIAL THANKS
Anneliese Brincks, Ben Hunter, Mark Carlson, Matthew Carlson, and the residents of The Booge
- See more at: http://www.commonsenseevaluation.com/#sthash.oJPHbUWj.dpuf
Ride along on the Hot Wheels car as it travels through 8 different track sections all connected by teleporting tunnels. From the backyard to the big hill to the pool and back, this track’s got it all.
Each section worked on its own from tunnel to tunnel. The cart is powered entirely by gravity at all times.
In total there are 11 cuts in the video, 7 between locations and 4 for slow motion footage. The jump section and the loop section were filmed twice, once in 30 fps and again in 120 fps, and the final video cuts from the normal speed footage to the slow motion footage for the duration of both the jump and the loop.
The cart worked reasonably well underwater and only fell off the pool track a few times. The main problem with the pool track was keeping the track connected and in place. A rock was attached to the end of the track in order to weigh it down.
In total about 200 feet of track was used, nearly all of which is present in the 4th section. Filmed with a GoPro Hero4 Session mounted on a modified 2014 Pharadox car. Filmed in California and Colorado.
SPECIAL THANKS
Anneliese Brincks, Ben Hunter, Mark Carlson, Matthew Carlson, and the residents of The Booge
- See more at: http://www.commonsenseevaluation.com/#sthash.oJPHbUWj.dpuf
Ride along on the Hot Wheels car as it travels through 8 different track sections all connected by teleporting tunnels. From the backyard to the big hill to the pool and back, this track’s got it all.
Each section worked on its own from tunnel to tunnel. The cart is powered entirely by gravity at all times.
In total there are 11 cuts in the video, 7 between locations and 4 for slow motion footage. The jump section and the loop section were filmed twice, once in 30 fps and again in 120 fps, and the final video cuts from the normal speed footage to the slow motion footage for the duration of both the jump and the loop.
The cart worked reasonably well underwater and only fell off the pool track a few times. The main problem with the pool track was keeping the track connected and in place. A rock was attached to the end of the track in order to weigh it down.
In total about 200 feet of track was used, nearly all of which is present in the 4th section. Filmed with a GoPro Hero4 Session mounted on a modified 2014 Pharadox car. Filmed in California and Colorado.
SPECIAL THANKS
Anneliese Brincks, Ben Hunter, Mark Carlson, Matthew Carlson, and the residents of The Booge
- See more at: http://www.commonsenseevaluation.com/#sthash.oJPHbUWj.dpuf

Ride along on the Hot Wheels car as it travels through 8 different track sections all connected by teleporting tunnels. From the backyard to the big hill to the pool and back, this track’s got it all.
Each section worked on its own from tunnel to tunnel. The cart is powered entirely by gravity at all times.
In total there are 11 cuts in the video, 7 between locations and 4 for slow motion footage. The jump section and the loop section were filmed twice, once in 30 fps and again in 120 fps, and the final video cuts from the normal speed footage to the slow motion footage for the duration of both the jump and the loop.
The cart worked reasonably well underwater and only fell off the pool track a few times. The main problem with the pool track was keeping the track connected and in place. A rock was attached to the end of the track in order to weigh it down.
In total about 200 feet of track was used, nearly all of which is present in the 4th section. Filmed with a GoPro Hero4 Session mounted on a modified 2014 Pharadox car. Filmed in California and Colorado.
SPECIAL THANKS
Anneliese Brincks, Ben Hunter, Mark Carlson, Matthew Carlson, and the residents of The Booge
- See more at: http://www.commonsenseevaluation.com/#sthash.oJPHbUWj.dpuf





Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ms. Swan's Front End Rebuild....

OK, here's what I've been doing.....

Here's the car up on jacks with the left front strut removed. She should be in the garage, BUT, my wife has started "staging" things to get rid of before we move to Colorado, and the garage has become loaded with "junque" again.



 And here's the rest of the left front, with a bunch of worn out parts in evidence.



 And to remove the BIG nuts on the struts, I bought a BIG wrench at Harbor Freight. My wife calls this my "Clown Wrench" because it's so big (to her) that it "doesn't look real".

When I removed the nut, I clamped the strut in the vise, got ready to give a mighty grunt, and the nut came loose with hardy any pull at all!

The wrench came in handy to tighten the new nut, though....



 The top strut mount was toast, as seen by this "bottom view" of the bearing...




br />  Don't know if you can see the cracks in the rubber on the top, but when the car was sitting with the weight on the suspension, they were scary big....



 Here's the junky old Monroe "Sensatrac" insert. When the spring was off, I grabbed the rod and gave it a pull. It had about a HALF INCH of free play both ways before you could feel anything, and it gurgled when you cycled it.

TOTALLY shot.....



 Here's the OEM front spring on the right, along with the new Dobinsons #C59-070 that I bought from George at Raptor Racing. The wire diameter on the OEM spring is .550" / 14mm, and the free overall length is about 13.8" / 350mm.




 Here's another view of the springs. The wire diameter on the new Dobinsons C59-070 spring is .603" / 15.3mm, and the free overall length is about 11" / 280mm.



 And for those that might care (the American Iron guys go nuts for this type of information!), there was a violet paint stripe / color code on the OEM spring.




And here's the end result. A nice new shiny spring, new protective boot for the shock rod, and a new top strut mount.

Don't freak out about it being clamped in the vise jaws. It's barely tightened down to hold it for the photo, and when I did have it clamped down tight so I could torque the nut at the top of the new strut to 40 ft-lbs, I had two pieces of hardwood in there to cushion it so the jaws wouldn't bite into the new spring, possibly inducing stress fractures and weakening it.

As they used to say in the old Heathkit manuals..."This completes the assembly of this unit"!



I'll get this one back in the car after I R&R the lower control arm and strut rod bushings and replace the rubber boot/bellows on the power steering rack. It's completely dry on this side, so that means the seals are OK, but a torn boot like that just bugs me, and since I have a new one, REPLACE IT, JIM!!!


Then all I have to do is wash, rinse, and repeat this on the passenger side, and the front end is finished for now.


I blew off going down to the Iowa today as I'm on a roll here, and if I keep going I can have both sides of the front finished by Monday or Tuesday.


I learned a couple of tips and tricks from the guys on the Celica Supra forum, and I now have a couple of tools that make the job  much easier, along with a huge assortment of Cotter Pins that Ill need to bolt everything back together.


I have a pair of brand new lower control arms with OEM bushings and new ball joints, so I might just swap out the new bushings for the Energy Suspension PolyGraphite ones I have, rather than spend the extra time to change out the ball joints in the lower control arms that are on the car.


At the pace I work at, that would probably save a whole day.......


So stay tuned for another exciting episode of "The Continuing Adventures of Dr. Jim and Ms. Swan"!


Not quite as much fun as Doctor Who and his companions, but a whole lot more real.....


Sunday, August 14, 2016

"Driving Ms. Swan", the Continuing Story....

Well, I've been banging away on my 1985 Supra in preparation for the "Supras in Vegas" show in September.

Got the gearbox oil changed, and my "Short Throw Shifter" installed.

No, it's not the "snick-snick" you'd get from a Hurst Competition PLUS shifter, but it's light years ahead of the one that was in the car. Part of the installation was the removal of a totally worn out metal/rubber/metal bushing in the shift rod inside the transmission, and replacing it with a bronze "Oilite" bushing kit made by one of the Celica Supra forum members. This change, along with replacing the plastic bushing on the bottom of the ball that engages it with a superior grade Delrin plastic, and the new shifter, made a tremendous improvement.

Today I pulled the driver's side strut/spring assembly out so I can replace the top strut mount plate, shock absorber insert, and install the new front spring that drops the car about 3/4".

I was planning on replacing a lot of other parts, and now after evaluating the general state of the suspension, it looks like I'll be replacing a few other things. I already have the parts, so rather than pulling it all apart later, I'll just do it now, as I have all the PROPER tools to do the job.

The top strut mount plate was full of cracks and splits, and looked pretty scary from the top. After removing it, I spent some time checking it, and some of the cracks go all the way through the rubber. The bearing was also very gritty and rough feeling, and all the grease was dried up. It's lasted 30 years and 167,000 miles, so I think it's due for retirement!

The lower control arm bushings have some nasty cracks in them, and the rubber boot over the ball joint is split allowing all the grease to come oozing out. Since I have these parts on hand, they'll be changed.

The flexible hose to the brake caliper was in worse condition than I expected. The outer jacket was peeled away in several places, revealing the fabric reinforcement inside the hose, so that definitely has to go! I have a full set, front and rear, of stainless steel braided lines that I'll be using as replacements. I've used these before on other cars, and besides being very sturdy, they also give a better pedal feel due to the fact that they don't expand when you hit the brakes.

The pads in the caliper looked almost new, as well as the rotor, but they're being replaced as well. The rotors are StopTech "Sport Rotors", drilled for cooling, and the pads are high-performance ceramic "street" pads. And the brake system will get a flush and fluid replacement with DOT4 fluid.

And one surprise was the rubber boot for the tie rod arm that comes out of the steering rack. It's split, also, like the one I already knew about on the passenger side!

Again, I ordered two boots, so those will be swapped out.

And I'll be scrubbing off all the accumulated grease/gunk/road grime, and hitting any bare metal with a shot of paint.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Godspeed, Mike.......

I'd write something poignant, but I'm not, and never will be, good enough to eulogize Mike....

Godspeed, Mike, and God Bless your family. Thanks for all you did.



Monday, August 8, 2016

HAARP to Reactivate in 2017






Oh, boy. The conspiracy nuts will have a field day (no pun intended) over this one.

Courtesy of the ARRL:

Let the conspiracy theories resume! Alaska’s High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility will reopen in 2017. The sprawling facility now is under the ownership of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and the UAF Geophysical Institute is preparing HAARP for a new sponsored research campaign that’s set to begin early next year, UAF Researcher Chris Fallen, KL3WX, told ARRL.
“This involves, for example, reinstalling the vacuum tubes in each of the 10 kW amplifiers — eventually 360 in total — that were removed by the US Air Force [the facility’s former owner] for warm storage in the main facility,” Fallen said. He noted that the transmitter shelters have been unheated since the previous campaign in the summer of 2014. “The five generators — approximately 3 MW each — have recently been tested individually and are verified operational.”
Fallen said the HAARP ionosonde (DPS4D “Digisonde”) will be brought back online. “Some instruments on site need to be repaired or replaced,” he said. Those would include riometers and a UHF radar. “Optical instruments will be brought back. The flux-gate magnetometer is operational again.”
Fallen said other researchers are planning to install instruments at the science pads. “We are still investigating models for increasing Amateur Radio involvement with HAARP, which, in addition to announcing operating schedules, can potentially include hosting one or more ham stations on or near the science pads,” he said.
UAF describes HAARP as “the world’s most capable high-power, high-frequency transmitter for study of the ionosphere.” Constructed in 1990 at a cost of some $300 million, HAARP over the years has inspired a wide range of conspiracy theories that became grist for late-night radio talk shows. Some have claimed that HAARP’s 3 GW transmitter and 30-acre antenna farm have been used to control the weather, while others have argued that HAARP has caused earthquakes.
The FCC recently granted two Part 5 Experimental Service licenses for HAARP ionospheric research “across multiple bands.” WI2XFX will cover experiments in discrete parts of the HF spectrum, including 2650-2850; 3155-3400; 4438-4650; 4750-4995; 5005-5450; 5730-5950, and 7300-8100 kHz. A second Experimental license, WI2XDV, covers ionospheric research between 1 and 40 MHz.
UAF is hosting an open house at HAARP, located near Gakona, Alaska, on August 27. The event will feature facility tours, a mobile planetarium, a permafrost exhibit, science demonstrations and talks, and barbecue.
Fallen will deliver a free science lecture on Friday, August 26, at the Wrangell-St Elias National Park Visitor Center Auditorium, “Radio Modification of the Ionosphere, and Who Uses This HAARP Thing Anyway?” in partnership with the Wrangell Institute for Science and the Environment (WISE)
HAARP is aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere. Operation of the research facility was transferred from the US Air Force to the University of Alaska Fairbanks last August, allowing HAARP to continue exploring ionospheric phenomena via a land-use cooperative research and development agreement.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

"Phase 1" Painting Finished

Living room and dining room areas are done, and put back together.

Kinda shot the "Working on my Supra all weekend" plans, but, sigh......

Not sure what the wife has planned next, but I'm sure it will be another "Big Deal".

Going to a meeting tonight of the Los Angeles Area Council of Amateur Radio Clubs, which is an organization composed of all the Ham Radio clubs in the area. I'm the rep for the Battleship Iowa Amateur Radio Association, so I get to go to attempt to keep BIARA informed of future plans.

LAACARC is the group that puts on HAMCON in SoCal every few years. Since one of the clubs has backed out this year, we'll be hosting it again at the end of 2017. I'm planning on being out of here by then, but I'll help right up until we move.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Prepping the House For Sale, Part 1

Of no doubt MANY additional posts.....

Even though my wife is vacillating a bit on moving, we've started doing the first of our preparations to sell the house we're in.

Yesterday we cleared out the living room and she started patching all the cracks and dings in the walls so she can paint.

The house has settled noticeably since I moved in here 7 years ago (been that long?), due I'm sure to the extreme drought Southern California has been having.

Parts of the back yard have slumped, the dirt is pulling away from the foundations, and the front porch has settled enough that there's a definite gap where it meets the house.

Her oldest son filled the gap with expanding foam when he hung the new new interior and exterior doors, but we have to come up with some kind of trim strip to hide the foam.

That'll be "on me", as he works even slower than I do! I have to cut him some slack, though, as doing doors is what he does for a living, and while he does superb work on the doors, door frames, and other trim, he's used to having the rest of his crew finish up all the little details for him

SO.....yesterday my wife scratched out and "vee'd" all the cracks, filled them with some new high-tech glop she bought, and this morning she sanded the filled spots. She just finished masking off all the trim, and she'll do the painting tomorrow. Then I can help her move all the stuff back, and the dining area and living room will be finished.

We did the bathroom late last year and it still looks good. She did the front bedroom early last year, and since it's closed up all the time, it still looks fine. That leaves our bedroom, and this room, the "Radio Room" to do.

Not sure when we'll do our bedroom, but I suspect THIS room will be the last one we do......

Time to head out to the garage so I can unearth all the stuff to rebuild the front suspension on the Supra, which is this week's project.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Can't Think of a Title, So TGIF!

Except for those of us who are retired, when everyday is Friday!

Enjoy the cartoon from our friends over at Hope n' Change Cartoons.