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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818C One Year Later

The last couple weekends have been really productive on the 818C. With the progress I’ve made lately it feels like I haven’t been doing anything the last year. It’s important to look back a bit though. While I’m on pg 227, I’ve been skipping around a bit so it’s closer to 200 completed pages out of the 700+ page manual

I think I also need to remember just how much work came before this. It wasn’t just install the front suspension, then install the rear suspension. There was a ton of work drilling and riveting the sheet metal panels. There was a ton of work tearing apart the donor car. There was a lot of work getting the pedal box and the steering fitted up. Every part cleaned up, wire brushed, repainted… yeah… I’ve made a lot of progress.

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Status update: Stuff that’s not games!

Progress has been decently good lately! I feel like I had a few weeks there where I just got caught up in other stuff or it was just plain too hot to really work on projects. This last weekend though I made what I feel is a fairly significant milestone in 818C History.

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Scheduling Conflicts

Well it hasn’t been super productive the last few weeks. Last weekend I ended up catching the same cold my wife caught. Saturday and Sunday I was sick as a dog; luckily I had some role models on how best to recover:


So naturally, I spent the weekend shopping for parts! On their way is the clutch and flywheel plus a handful of other project stuff that I’ve been meaning to order. Including a brand new linear actuator…for a new project!

Meet project Coffee Table! Not too much to look at yet. I started work on it last weekend, though I’ve been working the design off and on for a while. Unfortunately, I then got shipped off to a trade show and couldn’t continue work. That said, I’m looking forward to continuing I haven’t done any woodworking in a while and it’s a fun change of pace from motor assembly…that and it’s a coffee table that’ll have a built in, actuator driven 50″ touchscreen…because it’s funny.

Other than that, the car’s coming along slowly…and not so surely. The engine has been driving me quite mad. There’s so many small components, hoses, and bolts that seem to be missing. It feels like I find a piece that needs assembly, then find out I don’t have all the bolts, so I order the bolts, then find out that I didn’t realize some other part attaches to this part and it has to go on first…but I don’t have the correct bolts for it either. It’s been very frustrating. That said, the heads are on, the timing belt’s on, the exhaust is on, the harness is getting close…Need some bolts for the intake and then I need to figure out where all the vacuum lines go…still progress is progress!



Another Busy Day!

And a wonderfully productive one at that! We’re getting set up to go on a bit of a road trip this weekend out to visit Aurora’s best friend in Joeseph. Should be a nice weekend, though on the warm side for my taste. That said this week has been about preparing! There’s been a handful of things I’ve been putting off for a while to my detriment. Firstly the Mazda has had an intermittent check engine light related to low coolant. Most likely a stuck open thermostat. Not really a huge issue or anything, just an annoyance that’s made the more annoying because it’s intermittent. So after watching a video showing just how buried the thermostat and housing are, I sent it to my local shop, J+S Automotive (nice place! I like them quite a bit) and just had them do it. They also found that the left rear tire was worn badly to the inside, and probably needs alignment. The rears are pretty old, so I picked it up during lunch and dropped it off at Discount Tire for two new rears…hooray more money! This weekend road trip’s getting expensive! (yes… this event is expensive in routine maintenance?). So now it’s scheduled for alignment on Thursday.

That’s all well and good but I have a pair of front struts in the garage that have been nagging me. A while back we discovered the front struts were leaking and worn, so I ordered some middle of the road KYB’s to replace them…well then I didn’t do it…for a while… (cough… as in months… cough cough). Thing is when you put struts in it’s usually a good idea to get an alignment just to be safe, and I have an alignment in two days. Luckily with the help of my lovely wife, we managed to knock it out in about 2.5 hours after I got off work! I was really surprised we got it finished so quickly, especially because these struts are arranged in a weird sort of press fit that I’ve never seen. The top hat’s still 3 bolts like normal, but the bottom, instead of two thru bolts, has basically a C-Clamp much like a triple tree on a motorcycle or a battery post clamp for a car. Seems fine until you realize it’s a big heavy cast and machined piece that has been press fit in place by the weight of a car…Then you realize it’s going to take a good sized hammer to rearrange this problem and it does. Still went quicker than I thought, so good news.

Next up! Registration! I’ve been a bad person and let my Mazda’s registration lapse…and also my truck and motorcycle registrations… It’s funny I remember getting at least one of those notices and thinking ‘oh I’ll do this tomorrow.’ but it still hasn’t been tomorrow yet. It’s always been today when I wake up. This time though, it’s 1:30 AM…so I’m doing this today! So I went a scrounging for titles to fill out all the paperwork, and as I did I found this!


That is the original form from when I got my dog Spectre. February 2009…hard to believe it’s been so long! Puts him at about 8 years, in spite of the form the Vet was pretty sure he was at minimum 2 years old. That’s a 10 year old dog who truly has the spirit of a dog that’s only 1.5 million years old. Truth be told he’s been getting a bit more spry (for a glacier) now that he’s on this new Thyroid medication. He’s lost some weight too. I think he was clocking in at 35 lbs and he’s back down to 25 lbs or so. Of course you look at that scraggly dog in black and white above…and that 17.5 note…that was his weight on admission. Poor guy looked (and acted) like he hadn’t eaten in weeks.

He’s been a good dog/inanimate object that you feed.