17 June

Engine hook up continues. First start may or may not be this weekend but with the first heat wave of the season targeting this weekend I’m not sure how far I’ll get. An aside: I discovered a really odd thing about modern Honda engines, which of course are all metric, only they aren’t completely. Decades ago they apparently borrowed a number of engine ideas from other manufacturers. Fast forward to last week when I tried screwing a 1/8″-27 pipe thread oil adaptor into the block where the factory oil pressure sensor normally goes. It didn’t fit and I remembered having to run a tap into the old block in order to get on with things. Remembering that, I wondered what was going on. Since this engine is new and already in the car, I wanted to avoid possibly getting aluminum chips into the oil system. The Interweb had the answer; of all the threads in the world Honda chose to make this ONE threaded port 1/8″-28, which is British pipe thread! It turns out that many pneumatic systems use British pipe thread by default – I had no idea. Anyhow, bought an adaptor from McMaster, which charged what worked out to be 62% on top of the adaptor’s cost just for postage. Nice.

Asked the engine builder how much of a break-in is needed before having the car officially tuned, since this engine is different from the first on a few points: compression is 9:1 (was 8:1), the cams are different, the exhaust manifold has been changed, and the turbocharger turbine housing is 1.06 A/R (was 0.82). He recommended staying away from high rpm and driving at least 100 miles on it. I can do that, a couple local drives around here to check for leaks, then one drive into the back country can accrue that in an afternoon.

Some of us where I work got rattled this week. This Monday a coworker announced his plans to retire – and on Wednesday died of a heart attack. It was a reminder that I need to think more about my own retirement. The unknowable dilemma we all face though is not knowing how long we have versus how much money we think we’ll need. Do we retire early assuming we’ll meet some quick fate before running out of money? Or, will we be blessed/cursed to live to 103, bedridden, miserable, and broke for the last 10 years? It reminds me of that saying, “When I was young I was afraid I’d die in an accident, now I’m afraid that I won’t.” It’s little twisted but I get where it’s coming from. The saying I keep recalling is “Life is what happens while you plan the future.” Do what you want to do now instead of during retirement, as no one knows whether we’ll get there.