25 Apr 2010

Can’t tell if the ECU/dash interface is working or not with no drivetrain in-place since there are no sensor readings for the dash. Not a big deal for now so it was set aside.

Started this morning with the idea of doing the coolant system, but after realizing one of the main coolant lines running down the center tunnel is a little short, it kinda killed motivation on that front. Plus, with no drivetrain in place it’s not clear where to run the lines once they go up and over the fuel tank, so the gas pedal project was picked, but that meant having the seat in its final position…

So the day was spent measuring, fabing, measuring, mocking-up, fabing, and measuring some more to get the seat where it felt right. Even sat in it for a while, testing each iteration. A nit for me is having the front edge of a seat too high, applying pressure to the nerves on the back of my legs – not fun for long drives. Between head-room, lean-back angle, leg and arm room, it’s finally right. To me, things like pedal, steering wheel, seat, and shifter placement are extremely important. If any are off, the car feels… mass-produced, an assembly that no matter how much you fuss with it, it never quite feels right. Since this seat isn’t adjustable, it has to be done right the first time.

21 Apr 2010

After much angst, mounted the ECU as shown. While I’d prefer it to be in the passenger compartment, there’s not much room and the harness is too short. It just seems to want to go where it is, behind the seats inside the engine compartment. It’s away from the exhaust but it’ll still get warm, though external air will be ducted to it. Running the harness out the bottom ensures rain water can’t run down the wires and get inside. There’ll be a rain cover anyway to keep rain from dripping in from the top. With it in this orientation, it makes it easy to get at the USB connector for tuning.

The fuel tray’s also done, pretty self explanatory: inlet filter, high-pressure pump, followed by a 10-micron filter, all low in the chassis to ensure positive fuel feed pressure. It also ensure that if there’s a leak, the fuel has a short way to drip, instead of running all over the place… Oh, and the taillights work, though there’s the small detail of fenders to mount them to…

Also trying to work through getting the Hondata ECU to talk to the Race Tech dash. Right now I’m stuck getting the Hondata configuration correct, but the appropriate questions have been posted to the appropriate forums 🙂

19 Apr 2010

Good progress; received the transmission part that allows to allow shifting to reverse (now that it’s a six-speed… a long story.) Installed the part and all seems well. Hopefully there’s enough adjustment range in the shifter assembly to allow four gear columns, and if not… there will be.

The headlights, parking lights, turn signals, and emergency flashers all work. Haven’t connected the rear lights since I don’t have bulbs on-hand. The best news is that the flat-dash and logger came up fine, though I have no idea what the numbers mean – haven’t configured it yet. The picture’s of the dash in a dark garage – I like the blue backlight 🙂 It’ll be connected to the Hondata-modified ECU in a bit – fingers crossed.

In other news, check out the pictures this guy took of the Icelandic volcano… just incredible with the lightning. One heck of a hobby he has!

18 Apr 2010

Mentally, wiring’s the toughest part of the project, as it was with Kimini. It’s not hard, just detailed, weeks going by and the car looks the same other than wires moving around. It’s like having to move a 10-ton pile of sand with a plastic spoon.

Anyhow, all is not dark. The good thing is that there’s no deadline. It is getting done, one spoonful, one wire, at a time. It’s a good feeling, trimming each wire and pulling the excess out of the harness – watching it slowly getting simpler and cleaner – one step closer. Setting up the flat-dash to work with the logger and ECU will be the most tense part of the operation. Well, not wiring it… switching it on for the first time.

Took Midi to Dog Beach again. Man, all the dogs sure enjoy themselves, sort of like Dog Heaven. Big dogs, little dogs, young, old and in between, they were running all over the place. I counted 37 dogs and they were having the time of their lives – the things we do for our kids.

11 Apr 2010

If it seems like progress has slowed, I suppose it has, partly due to having no vacation where much happens. It’s also due to the now-familiar mid-project blues, which I don’t quite understand having it happen now. That is, the project’s at least 75% done, so it’s not like there’s a huge amount left to do. In fact there’s really only one sizable task left: electrical. Even there, all the hard work (the design) is already done, so that all that’s left is following the diagrams.

Anyhow, the lower firewall is in place and drilled for rivets, which is a fresh reminder how sucky working with stainless is. I decided the upper half needs to be removable to better access the front of the engine, so it was cut in two. At this point, enough of the car is in place that wiring can proceed. Of course there’s the taillights and license-plate lights to wire, which seems to indicate that the rear paneling should be in-place. At this point though, the wires can be run to the rear corners and tied off, same with the headlights.

I’ve been thinking about the path the project should take. Right now the idea is to wire the car to the dash, reinstall the drivetrain, and trailer it to the dyno shop. Getting the engine tuned would be a huge motivator, easily helping to push the project to completion.

In other news, we had two employees pass away last week of unrelated causes. We’re hoping the earthquake counts as a third event, as these things seem to happen in threes – or so says the urban legend.

4 Apr 2010

So I’m drilling rivet hole #527 and start feeling strange, slightly dizzy – or something. Shut off the drill, things in the garage were rattling, the lights swaying, and the chassis rocking slightly – earthquake! I’ve lived in SoCal all my life and while this one wasn’t the strongest, it lasted a really long time. What’s always scary is, unlike storms or even tornados, is that when these start, there’s always the question, “is this as bad as it’ll get, or just the beginning of a much larger one?” At around 120 miles from the 7.2 epicenter I’m glad we aren’t closer. Doesn’t help to have recently seen the movie “2012”, either.

Anyway… yeah, the car. Added the panels below the fuel tank and engine. The rear-most panel, the diffuser, will wait until later. Work on interior paneling will continue, then electrical.