18 December 2011

It's amazing how people change...

(this was stuck in my "Draft" folder for months owing to the previous issues I had with Blogger.... I'll post it now) I've had this on my mind for a while now... it won't be long, but perhaps too boring and offputting to post here. No matter, it's my "house"... but I will keep it brief, thanks in large part to a screwy "f" key...

About 2 years ago, when I started this blog, I said that among other things, I support the right of a woman to choose, meaning I supported an individual woman's right to abort her unwanted or imperfect fetus.

I do still support a woman's right to choice - however, there's more to it than I thought...

...shortly after I began this blog I started looking into various and sundry other interests, which I'll not go into in depth. Let's just say, I am VERY eclectic. Getting down the rabbithole on a wikipedia and google search session on some topic or other, I came across a turn o phrase which I think can be parlayed into the above - "safe, sane, and consentual". Something "clicked" and I've been mulling over the repurcussions of those words for quite some time now, in varying applications.

Abortion? SSC check:
-Safe? Well, at the very basis of it all, someone's dieing during it, so that's a fail...
-Sane? Again- while you're not mowing down toddlers, you ARE killing a creature. Some make the distinction that it's not sentient, not truly homo sapiens sapiens... so, my sleep-addled brain comes back with "so then, it's ok to mow down a random animal that will never be sentient? No? Fail..."
-Consentual? See above, re: sentience. This is required for informed consent. Just as you can't ask a prairie dog to give an inormed opinion on anything (animal brains versus human brains notwithstanding), you can't get informed consent from a fetus... honestly I am too tired to go too deeply into this part now- but since we've already failed the other two, I'm thinking that's worthy of a full sop on the abortion thing.

So yeah- I've changed my mind. Pro-lifers, though we share a drastically different view o the world in many ways (church among them, though I have a respect for several churches and in fact have even been reading scripture)... gonna have to say I am on the pro-life side of this, with some select reservations I am still mulling over. More on that at some point in the future, in case I haven't run you all off. For now, I need sleep, and this keyboard sucks.

I will add that, though I still identiy as pagan(ish), I have no love for liberals, gun-grabbers (hey, used to be in their camp, too!), the scent of patchouli, unwashed/shaved hippie women, or Ron Paul.

That is all. Presently....

Problems posting? Try this

As a note, folks: (let me put on my IT Help Desk guy hat) If you've been having trouble posting to Blogger as I have, try updating to the new interface- it's down in the lower right corner, probably flashing irritatingly at you. I did, problems are gone. So now I have no excuse not to spout more dribble into the Ether... because if it's one thing the Internet needs, it's another opininionated asshole. Hey, my place, my rules, right? ;)

S-10 Solid axle conversion finally near completion!

Well, the "couple weeks" I thought this project would take, turned into half a year owing to several things- money, studying, weather, and so on...

But I am glad to finally note that as of yesterday I finalized configuration of the crossmembers, testfitted everything, and am ready to finalize the fitment by way of MIG welding it all together.

Long story short- the crossmember that was sold to me years ago was not the correct one I ended up needing- *my* fault on that one, as I changed plans in the intervening years. The crossmember was built for use of YJ springs and Dana 30 - and I ended up going with doubled S10 springs and a Wagoneer (fullsize Jeep, circa 82) Dana 44. So my spring perches ended up moving out about 1"- just enough to bugger the works.

Of course I forgot this when Iw as planning the final build so it ended up putting me behind by a month, as I had to find time to source the materials, while making very little money on my 6-month "audition" at the new facility, and time to actually measure, cut, weld, etc- during which time my chop saw died (another $100 to replace), and nevermind that my plasma cutter died after only 2 hours' total runtime.. and just out of warranty. I will NOT buy anything made by Hobart, ever again, for the record...

.. and let's not even start about the "daylight savings" thing I forgot to take into account. I'd been making great progress when I could come home from work and still have 4 hours' daylight... now it's dark when I go to work and dark when I get home. Not so fun, that.

I'd intended to do the finish welding today- did the trial fitment yesterday, which required no small amount of hammering, grinding, levering the piece back out from between the framerails, pressing it back up, lather, rinse, repeat. Sure, it only weighs about 30 pounds- but when you're laying downhill on a 15 degree grade, head down with a pounding headache, and you've been holding the damn thing while trying to adjust it and yet keep it from slamming into your face- yeah, gets a bit tiring! To say nothing of trying to keep a snug fit for a good weldment, and to facilitate NOT having to hold it in place while you snug the spring hanger beneath it. Iritating, much? But it's done. All bolted together, truck doesn't have a jackstand under it now for the first time in 6 months. I was a tad concerned when I noted the rear end was still 3" higher than the front- something I'd have been ok with on a longbed truck, but this is a mid-length SUV- but then I remembered long ago I put in a set of those el-cheapo 8" long lift shackles, and I recently acquired a couple pair of stock shackles when I bought the springs for the front. Swapped those out (my 60" hilift was JUST long enough to get enough tension off the hanger bolts, almost)and now there's about a 1/2" difference in favor of the front. I won't worry about it just yet- there's going to be a bumper and winch mounted up front, as well as a 50 pound hilift jack- so I may well find that I'm a quarter inch low when all is said and done- I'd be fine with that. I still have a set of main leafs from the second pack I worked in, with the eyes cut off- they should do nicely as an add-a-leaf lift if need be.
Anyway- I'd intended to finish weld this all today- but apparently my tendency to operate on 4 hours' sleep a night decided to catch up with me this weekend. I slept from 1930 Friday to 0800 Saturday, and much the same last night and part of today- and am feeling a bit "off" - probably fighting off the cold bug my wife and son brought home. Yay.

Things remaining to do:
-bolt up the rear shocks, brake hose, breather hose. This has been staring me in the face for 5 months, I've been lazy about it, saying again and again I was going to address it this weekend. Luckily I never did- it would have been wasted effort now that the read end is 3" lower. I may yet have to relocate the parking brake lines and the brake hose- I'll determine that once I take it to a loading dock that's abandoned around the corner and measure for shocks and bumpstops

-drop front springs one last time, drill a hole 2" forward of the present spring pin hole to move the axle 2" forward- it's not drivable now primarily due to interference with the back of the wheelwell (which is actually the floorboard of the passenger compartment, else I'd cut and flare).

-relocate brake hardline-to-softline demarc point, welding a piece of angle to the frame as the new point aft of the shock. Use stock (new replacement) brake hoses, backwards- left on right, etc- to get to the wheel calipers.

-install hydroboost brake system, power steering pulley and filter, purge and flush. I've retrofitted a 97 Astro power steering/braking system, complete. Hydroboost brakes, more pressure and flow, everything in one fell swoop. This was to address an anticipated issue- the Dana 44 brakes are easily 75% larger volume at the wheel cylinders- my stock bits wouldn't have worked well at all. Also, I intend to go diesel in the near future, so vacuum boosting would have been problematic.

-measure for, fabricate and install shocks and bumpstops up front. On my old XJ, I never got around to fabbing proper bumpstops, partially due to the unibody construction. Poor excuse! This beat the hell out of my suspension, and I was noticing last time I looked at that truck it needs a serious going through. I want to particularly take note of a way to make a combination bumpstop mount and trackbar mount for the driver's side. My present plan is to use poly bumpstops from Daystar, but I've been told to check out stock Chevy fullsize bumps, too. I'll have to look into it. I'd appreciate paying $8 per bump instead of $30 (guessing at prices, but Daystar is PROUD of their stuff. I may even buy a stock Chevy bump, pull a plaster mold, and get some two-part poly and make my own. Could be a cottage industry!

-mount draglink to steering box. I may be swapping in an Astro steering box due to the forward location of the axle. This will require cutting out the factory crossmember in the front of the frame, relocating the passenger side brake hardline, and installation of a new front frame crossmember- which I've already done. Remember the 30 pound crossmember between the framerails I was complaining about- I learned to plan ahead. :) Actually it was partly concern for my welds- I'm not yet ready to weld up a Space Shuttle pressure vessel (luckily, this ain't one ;P ) so in order to not have to wory about the front end, ever, I decided to overbuild it. Thus the front frame crossmember atop the spring hanger crossmember. Frame member welded to the frame, spring hanger welded to both of those- equals no worries! A couple of Adel clamps, careful bending of the factory hardline and securing to the new crossmember and I ought to be ok. As well, the new crossmember provides a handy location for the engine bypass filter, and the power steering filter. Thinking ahead!

-general grinding and painting. I need to cut off the passenger side suspension mounts for the old suspension, grind the driver's side down flush instead of just "good enough", wirebrush the front axle and the frame wherever I've disturbed the factory coating, and hit it all with rustoleum Hammered finish. Once the entire build is done, I'm going to herculine everything from the beltline to the frame. The entire point of this build was to build a truck I can drive for quite some time to come, with off-the-shelf parts. To that end- corrosion protection is a concern. I'll be bedlining a lot of the steel underneath the truck, and applying Kroil or comparable protection to anything I can't reach (like the interior of the framerails).

-related, but not crucial: fabricate rock rails, modify the front bumper mounting points- by way of cutting them off, plating the framerails closed, and putting angle-iron mounts "wherever the hell I need 'em" for whatever bumper I source- I'm looking at a TJM bullbar from Australia that a friend pulled off an old Land Rover Defender 90. It's about a $1000 bar- he paid $80. Gonna show up with $200 cash and 3 gallons of homebrew and see what we can come up with. ;)

I'm sure there's other things, but I can't think of them at present. One thing that will need to be done is to figure out where in the heck I can keep all my tools. Apparently they once went in my garage, but at present they're all crammed in the project truck wherever they'll fit!

One thing that was nice to find out, and that got me fueled back up for the project- when I removed the cheapo lift shackles, replaced them with the stock bits- the truck was 3" shorter in the rear- which meant the tailgate and rear end no longer required a jump to get in (I am NOT short... ok, not THAT short...) and my truck wasn't getting "stupid big". As it sits now, I question whether the average person observing my truck will even realize it's highly modified. Also, I am 1.5" within the bumper height laws of my state now, instead of the other side of them- so no worries from Johnny Law. I respect them, but given recent events I find that I don't TRUST them... another discussion, for another venue. Suffice to say I haven't had problems, but I know a few law-abiding citizens who have.

08 December 2011

Bypass filtration of automotive lubricants

Those of you who know me, know that every now and again something shiny catches my attention, I target-fixate, become an expert on the subject, and then move to something else.

A couple years ago I targeted on lube filtration with an eye toward extended drain intervals- we're talking 30,000 miles or more without draining the oil...

Yes, I know- "everyone knows that you have to change the oil when it wears out every 3000 miles"...

.. uh, no.

Oil does not wear out. It gets full of trash and the additive package wears out/gets consumed. This is why we drain the oil- to remove the trash and replenish the additives....

What if we had a way to get almost every bit of trash out of the oil, could increase crankcase capacity and thus the amount of additives, and could remove just enough oil when we removed the trash from the system to allow us to add about a quart, replenishing the additive package?

Well- The Military, heavy industry, and savy motorists have been doing precisely this for years. There are different mechanisms- everything from using rolls of toilet paper in a canister (NOT kidding!) to using very large canisters using 3 rolls of paper towels, to very expensive "boutique" systems that resemble the normal (aka "full flow") filter already on your car.

I wanted something inexpensive to try out, both in the sense of the initial outlay and the price of filters. Amsoil has a system- but it's $270 or so, plus $40 for the filter. Uh, no...

I ended up using a couple pieces from my local Grainger industrial supply house. Cost me about $70, all up- $15 of that was for shipping. You need a Baldwin B50 filter and the matching mount- it's referenced in the catalog, think it's OB1305 (edit: yes, it is). Combine this with properly-rated hose (I used 3/8" ID transmission hose because I had it, but 1/4" will be fine- this isn't a high volume affair- in fact it's more like a drip coffeemaker). Fittings on the mount are 1/8MNPT, and I elected to use 3/8" right-angle hosebarb to attach everything because once this is assembled there shouldn't be cause for disassembly.

I used a 1/8NPT Street-tee to attach the pressure side to the oil pressure sender on my 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0 motor. This moved the pressure sender about 2" from the block- this is fine- and I used another 1/8MNPT to 3/8 hosebarb 90 to lay in the pressure side to the filter block. The block was mounted under the vehicle as the vehicle is rarely offroaded, is lifted, and there is a dearth of underhood space. I plan on putting a Clayton longarm kit under the Jeep in the next year or so, and that comes with a hefty skidplate, so I'm not going to concern myself with the location too much.

Running back from the discharge side of the filter (you MUST pay attention when plumbing this- filters are designed to flow one way and only one way!) I used another 90-degree 1/8MNPT to 3/8 barb fitting into more 3/8" hose. To get the discharge of the bypass filter back into the engine, I purchased a swivel return fitting from Amsoil ($10, PN forthcoming), and drilled the rivet out of the stock oil filler cap. Note that this destroys the cap... but yet it doesn't. The cap will fall into three pieces and if you're doing this at 2100 on a school night you immediately start calculating which auto parts store has the part and will be open at 0630. Stop. Think. The return fitting passes through the hole you drilled and will take the place of the rivet, holding things together. No wuckin' furries, mate!

You DID make sure there wouldn't be any interference with the valvetrain or breather chennels in the valce cover, right?

I had to chet to attach the hose to the swivel fitting- I needed another 90 degree 1/8MNPT to 3/8 hosebarb but apparently there wasn't another one in town till next week. I found one similar, but with a 5/16" barb- bought it, I'll just clamp down a bit. I want to use a JIC fitting at the top of the engine anyway as it's the one piece that MAY need disassembly at some point, will fix that later.

This system goes in parallel with your fullflow filter- and doesn't flow much pressure or volume at all- about 5psi and less than a quart a minute- so it won't rob your engine oil pressure. What it will do is scrub your oil of 98% of the crap that's floating about in it. My install added nearly 3 quarts of oil to the sump capacity- that only started as 6.1 quarts. I have added 50% capacity to my engine, without risking pressure effects from the level being too high. This increases oil thermal stability, cleaning effect, cooling, you name it.

My oil started out black- I'm going to keep an eye on it as things go by nd if I can find sample jars, I'll pull samples at 500 miles, 1000, 2000, and 3000- normal duration for an oil change- and I'll be sending off a used oil analysis kit to Blackstone labs as well- if you're going to extend drain intevals you must know what is going inside the engine- this is where analysis comes into play.

Another trick I did is to put small 8mmX1mm neodymium magnets I bought off ebay ($15 shipped for 100 of them) on the feed side of the filter so that anything magnetic that passes through my engine will be right there looking at me when I change the filter so I'll know something not cool is up. Sounds strange? You mechanical sorts that have been inside a transmission, transfer case, or oil pan know that this is a VERY common thing to do- in fact my NP231C and 700R4 transfer case and transmission both had them from the factory!

Next trick will be to add a fullflow spin-on filter to the transmission cooling circuit return line, along with a bypass filter there.... and a fullflow filter to my power steering system (which is now doing duty as my power steering and power braking system as I've retrofitted hydroboost from an Astro)- and a bypass filter to my coolant system... All for less than the price of one bypass filter from the "Big A"...

On that subject, I should note that I am using Amsoil XL series 15W30. It's full synth and actually CHEAPER than Mobil1. I was going to use Mobil1 but at $9/qt versus the $6.60/qt I paid for the Amsoil product- think I'm good to go...

This is a test....

.. had this been an actual post, there would have been something slightly less boring....




Test complete...