Posted in Uncategorized on 07/27/2012 by generalu

Here is a sample post. We want to test if we can download the word doc we upload.

Testing for Heartland Website

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Love at first slide…

Posted in Chassis, Diagnostics, Drivetrain, Driving, Interior, Motor with tags , on 10/15/2009 by generalu

The car has finally become drift ready, and I had a chance to take her and myself out for the first time. Loved it! I made it out to my first ever drift event (as a driver) with Justdrift.com. They had a clinic scheduled on a Sunday, but because of low attendance, they switched it to Saturday, which happened to coincide with their Top Drift Battle Round 3. I started with small donuts, bigger donuts, small figure 8’s, bigger figure 8’s, then finally a J-turn initiated by clutch kicking. I wish I got more practice time learning the J-turn’s and also initiating with the e-brake. The organizer, Charlie, encouraged me to enter the competition so that I can get some seat time. I came in last place! But it was awesome nonetheless.

Penny thoughts about going drifting for the first time:
– Tech inspect your car, or at least thoroughly inspect your car. Make sure it’s ready to be tossed around.
– Start slow and with the basics first. I went from donuts (small then big), to figure 8’s (small then big), to J-turns.
– Use the instructors, if available. Have them drive your car to get some input on your setup, limitations, etc. Also watch carefully at how he drives the car. When I first started doing donuts, I was slipping and sliding in circles, not doing donuts. But after carefully watching what the instructor was doing, I was able to get it. The instructor also informed me that I had too much pressure in my tires (50 psi) and I was sliding all over the place. I deflated to 30 psi, and it was much better. Feedback was really important for me in getting to know my successes and failures.
– Don’t mind the people around you. Everyone who’s drifted/drifting started at the exact same place as you. Just have fun.

One of the best things that was fixed on the car is the AC – and it blows pretty cold! For some reason the AC condenser was not getting any power through the fuse circuit. So my friend wired it directly to a power source and it started to work. You don’t understand what a world of a difference it makes to drive that car with AC – I love it!

Here’s a list of installs/updates:
– AC fixed (fixed it by directly sourcing power from the battery via a relay & switch; otherwise it stays on constantly and drains power)
– Fixed some vacuum leaks
– Installed water temperature sensor, Defi gauge, and Defi control unit
– Purchased a set of 350z track rims and installed my old Kumbo Ecstas (these are very slippery but long lasting, fyi)
– New tires: used Advan Neovas in front (235.40.17) and Michelin somethings in rear (245.40.17)
– Alignment (though not much was able to be done)
– Installed new welded differential (hat’s off to my friend who did the install by himself)

Next to-dos:
– Battery relocation
– Install amp/sub (wondering if I should do this…)
– Complete boost leak test & fix leaks
– Fix fender (passenger side is rubbing when I open the door)
– Install SR fan shroud
– Purchase oil pressure gauge (maybe oil temp too), then install oil cooler kit
– MBC – maybe?

My friend gave me some good perspective on some of my recent purchases: intercooler, wideband, and track rims. Why do I need them? Unless I’m looking to get serious about building a track car, it’s unnecessary. I should spend that money on track time and tires. I think that’s great advice.

DIY Sunroof Cover.

Posted in Interior on 09/01/2009 by generalu

The AC isn’t working in my car, and it’s been especially hot lately. I don’t have a sunroof cover or tinted windows, so the blaring sun makes it pretty disgusting to drive in the daytime. Since the OEM sunroof covers are very difficult to come by, not to mention, ridiculously overpriced… I decided to make my own cover. Check it out:

What you’ll need: Tri-fold poster board, velcro w/adhesive, knife, scissors, pencil, paper, tape
Cost: $14.99 + $2.79 + tax = $19.29
Install time: 30mins – 1hour (depending on how meticulous you want to be)
Difficutly: 2 out of 5

Purchase a black (or whatever color you’d like) tri-fold poster board from OfficeMax – it’s the stuff you usually use for your science project display. This stuff is pretty stiff yet pliable. The sunroof measures roughly 15×32 inches, so be sure you buy one large enough. I just used the middle portion – going to save the outer boards for a makeshift radiator cooling panel.
090109 005

Pull out/off your sunroof. Tape 6 pieces of paper across the sunroof then create an outline of the sunroof line. I carved out the pieces/places where there are protrusions on the glass. There are 2 lines you need to be mindful about: first the minimum amount of space you’ll need to cover to prevent the sun from shining through, and secondly the edges where the glass is exposed from the inside of the car. Your cover needs to fall within these two lines (you’ll know what I’m talking about if you take a close look and just think about what you need to cover.)
090109 006Cut the outline and use as a template against your poster board. It’s better to make your template larger than needed as you’ll be able to trim the areas down as necessary, but not add to it – so go bigger.
090109 007Use a knife to cutout the shape from the poster board – I went a little bigger than my template.
090109 008Re-trace your poster board against your sunroof and make any necessary adjustments (with your pencil then with your scissors) to make sure your roof cover is big enough to cover all the necessary areas, and small enough to be installed from the inside of your car. This is where you want to take your time and be meticulous.
090109 009Place your cover against your sunroof and make any adjustments as necessary. After everything looks good, use the velcro w/adhesive – this will ensure that your roof cover stays on your roof and also allows you to remove it at your convenience. I used 5 of them, 4 in the corners, then 1 in the middle.
090109 010

Voila! No more sun in your face!

As I mentioned before, I’m going to use the remaining side pieces to make a radiator cooling panel. However I want to measure how much of a temperature difference it’s going to make. So I need to install my water temp gauge first. Stay tuned!

Making Progress…

Posted in Chassis, Diagnostics, Drivetrain, Interior, Motor on 09/01/2009 by generalu

I’ve been trying to work on the car more and more, however, it’s been becoming increasingly difficult and frustrating for 2 reasons. 1 – I have to drive all the way down to my friends house to work on it (because I’m parking it in his garage), and 2 – the weather has been scorching and unbearable. It would be awesome if I had my own garage to work from, but you work with what you got right?

Despite these challenges, I have to admit I am content with the progress thus far. My only gripe is that I’m spending more money than I would like. Hopefully it’ll all be worth it.
Here’s a list of things that have been done:
– Headlights have been replaced with regular halogen lights (headlight motor that was JB Welded is holding up nicely!)
– Coolant flushed (I used a 2.5 gallon drinking water jug as a coolant pan. I suggest punching a inlet hole on the side of the jug, furthest away from the drain plug near the top, this way it fits nicely underneath the car and you’re also able to store it upright without it spilling out.)
– Oil change (I had to buy a oil filter remover because the previous one was/is difficult to remove due to it’s location.)
– Spark plugs were changed (replaced with NGK BKR6E – copper set, gapped to 0.032.)
– Dash VIN was replaced (I had to remove the entire dash to do this – PITA! A friend told me it’s a lot easier if you unbolt/lower the steering column. I learned that after I finished.)
– Registration started (Since it became a salvaged title – I needed smog, VIN verification, and light/brake inspection completed. I still need a smog check, but got the VIN cleared at the DMV – phew! and the headlight/taillight/brake inspection completed for $95 – I didn’t know this was that expensive.)
– Compression test (came out decent: 137, 148, 144, 129)
– Got an unbroken window control panel, battery tie down, and HVAC control panel from a friend.
– Replaced the rack/pinion (This was an exhausting job. Some pointers, be sure to use the correct wrench sizes for the fluid lines, 17mm & 19mm if I’m not mistaken – don’t strip the bolts, and use anti-seize. You will have to jack the front end up high enough to remove the rack/pinion and also remove your front tires to loosen the tie rods. I picked one up from Valley Auto Parts in La Puente for $150 + $50 core charge for your old unit. Be sure to use ATF not power steering fluid. I haven’t turned the car on after this, but I did fill the reservoir and no leaks so far – hopefully I have power steering now.)
– Installed a DIY sunroof cover (I’ll have a new post for this with more details.)
– Installed a fan shroud (However, I don’t think I bought the correct one – probably for the KA motor, because it doesn’t fit. I had to carve out half of the shroud to have the fan clear. So I will have to find the correct one.)
– Attempted a boost leak test (I used a simple 2inch pvc cap, 2inch-to-3inch rubber coupler, and tire valve stem to make my own. I tried to use a bike pump, but wasn’t able to generate enough pressure – which may mean I have some major leaks somewhere.)
I’m going to try and get the AC fixed as well. Although I haven’t driven the car too much, it looks like the coolant/oil lines may not be leaking *fingers crossed*!!!

I also purchased a few used parts to be added soon:
– B&M Oil Cooler
– Earthing grounding kit
– Defi Water Temp gauge (will need to buy the control unit)

Which leaves only a few more things to finish before I can start driving sideways! I still need to complete the smog check, get the bent rim repaired and get some new tires (I have a friend at Falken who can hopefully hook some up), get a welded differential (cheaper alternative vs. an aftermarket LSD), install my stereo, do a thorough cleaning, then I should be ready to go. Making great progress!

First things first.

Posted in Chassis, Diagnostics, Motor on 08/18/2009 by generalu

Why is it that whenever I go to the store to pick up parts, I always end up purchasing unnecessary things? I bet there is a psychological term for that. I ended up picking up some basic maintenance parts and still need to go back tomorrow to pick up some more things. But I did get some things accomplished, including an oil change on my daily driver.

The previous owner had a HID kit installed, but one of the lights were out. I didn’t bother trying to figure out if the issue was with the bulb, wiring, or ballast. I plan on converting to a silvia front end, and have another HID kit sitting around – so I’ll install that once I complete the conversion. The stock head lights require a complete replacement of the light (bulb, lens, housing), instead of just replacing the bulb. The installed HID kit was retrofitted into a similar housing, then wrapped with electric tape. If I choose to keep the stock style headlights, then I will probably use the old housing – maybe replace the lens, because the old ones aren’t in the cleanest condition. I also attempted to fix the motor that opens/closes the head light – as the arm that pushes it open/close was broken. I just used some JB weld and placed the broken piece back together. I’ll check to make sure it’s sufficiently working next time I work on the car.

I also attempted to perform a compression test, however, ran into some… issues. The compression tester I purchased came with an adapter. I unknowingly and ignorantly didn’t put the adapter on tightly and now the adapter is stuck inside the spark plug opening! I put some RTV silicone on the spark plug, then placed it into the adapter to let it set. Hopefully the adapter will come out when I try to take the spark plug out again. Silly mistake on my part. Anyways, if you’re attempting to perform a compression test, just want to give you some reminders. If you’re using an adapter, make sure you make it tight. Warm up the engine to normal temperatures, and also to let the battery charge. Next, pull the injector wire harnesses out, then turn the engine over a couple times. Install your compression tester, get into the driver seat, press the throttle to open the throttle plate, then turn the engine over for a few cranks. Record your numbers, then repeat for each cylinder. This will be a good time to inspect your spark plugs to see if they need replacing. Make sure to reattach your injectors after you’re done.

I looked at the registration papers that the previous owner gave to me, along with the title. It says that the vehicle will need a smog inspection, VIN inspection (the dash was replaced, and I have the original VIN tag in the glove compartment – hopefully it won’t be too hard to replace), and a headlight/taillight inspection. I’m going to try and get these issues resolved, then have the car registered at a AAA office instead of the DMV.

Next: complete compression test, change oil/coolant/spark plugs, change out the wheels, boost leak test. Stay tuned!