Back to garage projects!

Feels like I took quite a long break from any garage related projects. Summer’s not such a fun time to work in a garage out here in Florida. That said it’s well into the cooler seasons and the weekends have been flying by. This last weekend I focused on the 818 and managed to get the clutch fully operational. When I started the weekend I had the assumption that getting it working was a matter of adding the last section of hydraulic line then bleeding the system…

I could not have been more wrong, because as I was bleeding the lines things just weren’t working correctly. The clutch was really loose. In fact the piston looked like it was going to break loose, so… I had to do some digging.

Turns out, I did not install the throwout bearing correctly. Also… as it turns out to access the throwout bearing I need to remove the transmission. No problem I thought… this is a kit car. I have access to the entire back of the transmission.

There are SO many things that interfere! Turns out I had to pull the suspension brace, all the bolts on the turbo and it’s mounting brackets, the roll pins and the half axles, the clutch line, a couple suspension bolts (to free the half axles). It just felt very much one step forward and two steps back.

All complaints aside, the fact is that it’s now all buttoned up and I have a fully functional clutch! So truthfully it’s a weekend well spent on getting stuff fixed up and closer to operational.

I first purchased the WRX that would become the 818 in July of 2017. That’s a heck of a long time from then to now, but over that span of time, my wife and I moved cross country, we had a child, there was a global pandemic… and that’s just the last 2 1/2 years! Sure I’d love to have the 818 running right now, but building a car, working full time, having a toddler, AND having a bunch of other hobbies can be a tricky balance. I guess the real point is, I don’t care how long it takes, I’m having fun with it! Honestly my two real motivators right now, my wife and I want to move to a house closer to my new job (and I don’t want to trailer this monster again!) and… I have dreams of the next kit car/project car… I’ve always wanted a three wheeler and I haven’t ridden my motorcycle in an age…

Checklist for the 818:

  • Finish up some wiring breaks from reinstalling the harness
  • Mount and cable manage the harness/control boxes
  • Battery installation and wiring
  • Mount the firewall
  • Mount the center tunnel
  • Install the throttle cable
  • Install the shift cables
  • Install the shifter
  • Install the e-brake
  • Install the seats
  • Install the last of the turbocharger lines
  • Install the intercooler
  • Fill with fluids
  • Check all the hoses, especially on the engine. I know there are breather lines and vacuum lines that seemingly go nowhere.
  • Fire it up!?

Wow…. that’s a lot shorter list than I thought! Let’s get to it!

Oh… also I got the CNC running and it cut its first part! Some of the holes were a bit oblong, but it seemed pretty close to correct!!!

Next major step would be making a new carriage with a dust collection system!

Projects aplenty

I’m not sure if it’s the ongoing pandemic, the fact that my wife seems like she’s doing a lot better, or the coolish weather, but I’ve been loving working on stuff lately. I’ve made a lot of progress in the last couple of days and I can’t wait to get some more projects going soon.

In CNC Maslow news this last weekend I managed to assemble the entire frame! Took some moving around of things, but the frame is built and it’s on to the electronics. It really goes together quickly. The instructions from MakerMade are really clear and clean. It’s no comparison to my first CNC machine that probably took a month or two to complete. I love the thing already and I can’t wait to get the rest of the bits installed and running. I might need to run a new electrical outlet though. On the plus side the breaker box is right next to it, so I may just make it a short run to behind the machine.

I’m already dreaming up some upgrades once it’s up and running. The biggest thing first, and another reason to have a specific breaker for the machine is to get dust collection going. Afterwards it’d be nice to have some E-Stops maybe set it up to start the router on its own or a few other nice upgrades. Some kind of loading dolly to make it easier to get plywood on the machine would be a big help too. That and plywood storage are going to be pretty essential as I start to run this monster.

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Garage upgrades!

Turkey day weekend progress! After running the wiring in the attic a week or two ago, I managed to finish up all the wiring today. Now instead of having a single flourescent (switched to LED tube) light in the garage, I have that flourescent PLUS 4x new paddle style LED lights. The difference is immense! I’m very excited to have it all finished up. I do need to go up to the attic again and put the floor panels back in, but I’ll probably wait as next on the list for garage upgrades is some new outlets, and for them a new circuit breaker. That and I still have some attic work to do before I can really store stuff. I ended up removing the attic ladder so I can switch it’s orientation. When climbing up, you would climb into the short side of the attic and it was kind of a pain to get all the way up, so I’m going to have it climb up towards the peak of the roof, so it’s easier to step all the way in. That said the new lights are going to really help, especially since I’ve dived back into the wiring for the 818.

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A Scant 5 Months Later

Admittedly it’s been a busy 5 months. I try to keep this mostly to a project log, but occasionally real life does intrude. My wife had some complications following the birth of our kiddo, and ended up hospitalized a couple of times. Eventually it was diagnosed that she had a condition where the bottom of her cerebelum was basically poking into the spinal column and blocking flow of CSF fluid. She went through a surgery to correct it… then a second surgery when that one leaked… then finally after 2 months she had to have a shunt installed as apparently she was producing too much CSF fluid. The surgery process began at the beginning of June and as of this last Friday, she’s well enough to go back to being a full time mom. For a while there it was all I could do just to try and keep up with the kiddo, work, and taking care of her, but these days it almost feels back to normal… I mean living through a pandemic normal, but still so much better than a few months ago… so… projects!

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818C Restart!

It sure has been busy the last few months. Of course right now we’re still in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Hopefully that will be dying down sometime this year and we can get back to business as usual. Who knows though, as of this point parts of the country are beginning to open up despite most experts saying it’s a very bad idea.

Luckily for me I still have a job and I have a job where I can work from home, so that’s nice. Other than going out to get groceries and the occasional ordering of food, our exposure level is pretty low. That said… Still working from home, I am so jealous of all the people that say they have so much free time. If anything I have less free time, because I’m cooking a lot more and just being around the house, I end up spending breaks helping my wife with the kiddo etc.

I’ve still had some time to get project work done though, and I’ve been really happy about digging back into the 818C. I think over the last month or so I’ve gone through 20-30 pages!

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Embrace all change, all the time

Last post on at the beginning of May?! Okay… well… so… some things have changed. Personally, I feel it’s very important to have all of your most life changing moments in a single year… you know shake things up a little…

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Last post Jan 6th

Wow I’ve been slacking on writing stuff! On the plus side I haven’t been slacking on doing stuff! I think probably the biggest change lately is my new obsession with VR and VR kit. I picked up a used HTC Vive and I was instantly hooked. In fact, within a couple of weeks the obsession started taking a darker turn:


VR Racing with a wheel, clutch, shifter… oh it’s so good. It’s like you’re there, you can look through the corner just like you would on the track, and honestly it feels nearly as mentally fatiguing. You don’t quite get the same ‘fear’ moments of approaching a corner too fast, but it’s really really good. Thing is after playing a racing game in VR you can’t really come back.

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Been a while since last check in

Funny I look back and it’s been a couple months now I think! I’ve been trying to make as much progress as possible in a couple of fronts, so I that’s prevented me from writing all that much. Big news is:


818’s motor is in!

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Mission VIII: Svalarheima II Scorcher II

When last we left off our dubiously titled ‘heroes’ they were in the midst of a parlay with a group of Tohaa accompanied by a PanO liason, James Donally and scientist Adela Green. Suddenly the Tohaa seem agitated and start moving with more urgency. Tkazi backs towards the exit as a mighty pano knight comes out asking, “what’s the meaning of this?!” The former Knight of the Holy Sepulchre turned Hexas agent, Markus Suparman marched out to interrogate James Donally as to why his comms just cut out. Tkazi, Shadow, and Kirk have noticed now too. All comms seem to be cut out, including the link to Izzi and Executive Noodles. They’re on their own for the moment. In the mean time Tkazi does a close inspection of the security door. In fact it looks a lot more like an airlock or some sort of quarantine door. He relays this information to the Tohaa and they manage to disable the first lock.

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