Monthly Archive for June, 2011

Black Diamond Ice Clipper

Ever since I started snowboarding, I’ve run a carabiner on my belt or pack waist strap for clipping my gloves to when I take them off, so I don’t lose track of them. Aluminum carabiners are reasonably light, but I moved over to the even lighter plastic Fastex Tactical Link when those were introduced. What most carabiners have an issue with though, is a tendency to lie flat along the belt, so one-handed use when clipping gloves to them becomes a bit more challenging. This is particularly noticeable with carabiners with any kind of curve along the spine (back, non-gate side). Enter the Black Diamond Ice Clipper. Like other plastic accessory clip carabiners, this product is non-load-bearing, but unlike a standard carabiner, the spine is flattened sideways, so the tension of the belt or webbing over it holds the gate-side out at a right angle. It will still roll flat if you push it firmly, so you can stow it when it is not in use. Continue reading ‘Black Diamond Ice Clipper’

What Have I Created?

Sunday was our first Fathers Day Rally-Cross. Most of the mechanical issues with the FX16 were dealt with, I even had the time to work on little things like replace the made in China replacement window cranks that slip on the fluted shaft, swap center console, move over the racing harness. On the drive out to the track though, the damaged shock cartridge bothered me more than I thought it would. During the event it would become even more obvious, I’m going to have to replace it.

But despite that, the car drove well. Well enough that I had to do a double take on the new digital scoreboard! Well enough that after Cory’s Subaru was knocked out of running by a broken engine mount and I offered the FX for him to drive his runs, he turned in some of the fastest times. Fast and clean, so much so that we are pretty sure he won overall! Duking it out with even the turbo STi’s. Cory was loving it, he was practically gushing how awesome it was to drive. That’s the first time I’ve heard someone say that engine has power. I guess it’s more the smooth power curve, not the peaky turbo power.  I can only imagine how the FX will be when I fix the shocks and put in a LSD. That should bring the wheel skipping under control and allow a bit more of the power to get to the ground. I think I’ve created a little dirt monster, looks like a plain little econobox that lots of people mistake for a Tercel, but get it into a little dirt patch and it’s a fun little fiesty bugger! Continue reading ‘What Have I Created?’

Migratory Visitors

Fairy Terns are back at the trees at Richards and Queen.


Long Bridge Water Main Break

Damn you, BWS!


Cars Cars Cars

Weekend working on cars. Got the driver side floors on the 510 painted and started to look at the passenger. That was enough with that, I needed to work on the rally FX since next event is in a week. I’ve actually made a lot of progress on that. I pulled out the damaged strut side and pulled it apart. And in a nice bit of timing, NAPA called to let me know that one of the few remaining FX16 CV shafts in the nation finally came in. Took around two months, but it even looks like the correct part! It’s misidentified as the shaft for a Corolla diesel,  although maybe there really does exist one? As a bonus, the shaft is noticeably thicker, and heavier, but still fits. With the strut out, the shaft comes out with only a few bolts. As I suspected, the shaft is bad.  I get the new shaft in, although not before accidentally popping the end cap off and spooging grease all over.  I don’t have the strut parts yet, so can’t go any further on that. Continue reading ‘Cars Cars Cars’

Half Done, or Half Started

I’ve been on a push to finish one side of the Tin Roof 510 floor so I can attempt to use up the rest of my can of POR-15 that has sealed itself up after its first use. Tip for if anyone uses this stuff, try to plan to use it all up the first time you open. Even if you follow the directions and try to keep the lip of the can clean of any POR-15, the lid will still seal itself closed if you recap it. The stuff is tenacious. I read later a tip advising using two pieces of plastic wrap under the lid. Maybe that would help. Anyway, yesterday I finished the welding of the interior front left side floor. The rear seemed to be pretty intact so my plan was to clean it and POR15 it. In the process of cleaning though, some of the rust  did perforate. Damn. Busted out the tin snips and welder and I would like to say I zapped in a couple patches. Unfortunately it became a bit more work as I burned more holes and added more little patches and gobs of weld. Yuck, guess really should have made a large patch. Dunno how well this will hold up.  I guess this will do for now. Oh, and this is the easy side!

Lessons in Welding

Well, after I don’t know how long since I started this, I am finally almost done putting in the driver side floorpan on the Tin Roof 510. Today I made yet another patch, this time for the front firewall area. I was repeatedly blowing holes and generally making a mess and not getting much attached to much there. I decided the base was still too far gone and I needed to patch furthur in. I also drilled holes to pull the panels together with nut and bolts and rivets. What a revelation! So now I know, get as tight a fit as possible. While it is possible to fill gaps, it will more than likely be an excercise in frustration. I only blew a few holes and made one fire getting this patch in. Much nicer. And while it may not look the prettiest, I am getting better. I actually just about used up my first spool of wire too!

Bad Bottoming

Started to try and find the cause of my 80A main fuse blowout, I set about pulling the starter out. In order to do so, I need to remove the oil filter, so I figure time to do an oil change. I jack up the front of car onto stands, then turn the steering to get better access to the oil drain plug.  Grab the wheel and turn, when I woggles in a very strange way. WTF? I examine the wheel assembly and see daylight around the top of the strut! That’s not right! What has happened is the strut top mount rubber has seperated, yikes! I remember at the last rally-x having a run where it sounded like it bottomed hard, hard enough that I flinched. Later when I was poking around under the hood due to driveability issues from cracked intake hose, I remember finding that strut top rubber cap had popped off. I remarked that it was amazing that there was so much shaking that the cap popped off. Looks like that wasn’t quite the extent of the problem. Guess I better look for some bottom out bumpers, I’m running without, and it looks like I may have damaged the shock insert also. To add insult to injury, I discovered the oil drain plug has been crossthreaded, luckily it looks like chasing the threads with a tap fixed it.

Copper River

Making appearances at local supermarkets is this seasons Copper River sockeye salmon. I picked up this fresh filet at Marukai, I later saw at Foodland at a much better price. Nice deep red color. Flavor was pretty mild. Wasn’t quite as fatty as that piece of New Zealand King a few weeks ago. Good stuff. I read that this years Copper River salmon run numbers are looking good, enjoy while the season is going, can’t beat fresh!

Lightning Storm Power Outage

Damn you, HECO!