atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#958: Some cool stuff.

Warmistas are ginning up "epicycles" to explain away cold winter, late sunspot cycle, and such. In an Earth-centric cosmos, epicycles are used to explain the retrograde motion of planets. In a sun-centric solar system, epicycles aren't needed. In a world where man-made carbon dioxide is causing runaway global warming, facts are inconvenient....

Which brings me to this. I need this tee shirt. There are several other shirts on that site I wouldn't mind owning, too.

* * *

Guy puts a Harley-Davidson engine into a Crosley wagon with a Chevy transmission and a Ford rear end.... He did some nice work on the thing, I must say. The end result is that he's got about 3x the power of the car's original engine, automatic transmission, and one sweet ride.

* * *

And other than that, I've got nothing. Monday night was Monday night, as usual, and it was an okay night. I came home from work and took a nap becuase I was unusually fatigued after work, even though it was a pretty fair night.

Spring is coming, or so they say. Today's projected high temp is seasonable for the last week before calendar spring occurs--forties--and tomorrow's is even better. But I've got work Wednesday and I'm going to spend my day off today trying to get my energy back up, so the pressing matters that are nagging at me won't get done today.

The Escort needs a couple cans of Fix-a-Flat. I added air to the right side tires over the weekend and they went flat in a matter of days--the rear had been fine, the front flat, so something has made the rear tire go flat. I may pump them up again but I won't add F-a-F to them until the weeked, I expect.

Still, with spring on its way, I'm starting to think (again) about what I can do about the pile of metal sitting in the garage--the '86 Fiero. I still haven't looked for a machine shop to do the cylinder heads, magnaflux the block, and replace the cam bearings for me.

But that's all it needs, really: hot tank, magnaflux, cam bearings (because hot-tanking the thing will ruin the bearings that are in it). The block, despite having well over 150,000 on it, is in primo shape. The crosshatching on the cylinder bores is still visible, and I was able to push the pistons out by hand.

Normally, when you get a high-mile engine block, there is a ridge at the top of the cylinders, at the end of the area swept by the piston rings. Before you can remove the pistons you must use a special tool (with the arcane name "ridge reamer") to remove this ridge in order to slide the pistons out.

But this is only true if there is a significant ridge. The engine reportedly ran extremely well before it was removed (the guy was giving me the engine--though I gave him a case of Dr. Pepper for it--so he had no reason to lie to me) and the cylinders look good, as I said. When I was trying to check the oil clearance in the bearings I accidentally pushed the #1 piston out too far, and the top piston ring came out of the bore. That should not have happened; certainly I was not expecting it.

I've also got to measure the cylinders, just to make sure they're in spec, but I'm not expecting to need to machine them. Maybe have the machine shop give 'em a hone, since they'll have the tools and the talent to do it right, but I'm hoping to avoid boring the cylinders and buying new pistons. It wouldn't break the bank--pistons don't cost all that much--but I'd prefer not to.

The cylinder heads, though, are another story. There's pitting on the exhaust valves, which means "valve job", and a few of the valves, and valve guides, need replacing. I was going to try refacing the valves myself, but I realized that if the Fiero Store sells complete cylinder heads, rebuilt, for $230 ($200 core charge) I ought to be able to get my heads done for less than that. I love the Fiero Store but their prices are a bit rarified for my tastes; it's what comes from being a specialty supplier in a niche market.

But depending on what the machinst has to say, I may end up going that route. We'll see.

...once I have the engine assembled I'm going to wrap it securely in plastic and set it aside, then turn my attention to getting the car's transmission, suspension, and electrical system in order. Mostly it just needs time, effort, and parts; I have a few minor rust issues to fix and a couple of other bits and pieces which need attention. The engine is the biggest hurdle, though, and if I could get the engine squared away I could have a drivable car in a matter of weeks.

I'm even rethinking my "leave it automatic" stance--a manual gearbox has its own annoyances but typically they either work or they don't; no funny stuff with "first and second work but it won't shift into third..." that you can get with automatics. A decent four-speed from an '85 Fiero would allow me to nicely replicate the experience I had the first time I drove a Fiero--it was an '85 SE with a V6 and a 4-speed, and it was a quick little bugger, and I fell in love with the thing. It's why I have a Fiero now, for crying out loud.

But I still like the idea of getting a 4T60 (overdrive transmission) and putting that in the car in place of the stock T125c. It weighs more and does nothing for peformance, but it does yield better fuel economy. But the 4-speed (or even a 5-speed) would do that too.

Regardless of what I do, transmission-wise, my '86 will then be painted flat black:



...and end up looking approximately like that. (Different rims, though.) I went back and forth on the color issue until I saw that picture; I like the blue they used in 1986, and I also like the blue used on the blue PPG Fiero. Ultimately, though, this car's not meant to be a show car--I want to drive it, to abuse it a little, to be able to park it somewhere and not worry about the paint. Expensive base/clear paint is going to cost a lot to have applied and I'd worry about it--not so with flat black.

Besides, I also have the option of going with a vinyl wrap. Heh.
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