• secoh

13's for $1300?

So someone on performanceforums.com suggested a challenge. The idea is to have a car that is streetable (though not necessarily registered - here in Australia it's near impossible to get away with anything on the roads) capable of a 13 second 1/4 mile drag time, having cost no more than AUD$1300 (currently about USD$1400). Probably an easy thing in the US, but here cars are expensive and performance parts thin on the ground.

I already had a VN V6 commodore here that owed me $100 which I was planning on running on nitrous to see what we could get out of it, so the timing was perfect. A friend and I set about having a go.

Not counted in the budget is safety gear, including wheels/tyres, brakes, seat and harnesses etc. Also not counted is consumable such as oils and other fluids.


Warning, shiploads of images and text behind the link.
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    amused amused


2003 Ranger FX4. 4.0L V6, auto tranny

Problem #1
Starting back before Christmas, I was noticing what I thought was a hiccup when cruising down the road at a steady speed. It felt as though the ass end of the truck had been hit, or hopped. Sometimes it was mild. Sometimes it was pretty harsh with an audible 'clunk'. It'd only do this when the outdoor temp was below 20F.

I changed the plugs and wires. I cleaned the MAF and IAC. Nothing changed the problem. I went and pulled codes with what Advance Auto has (cheap reader). No codes were found. While talking to the guys, it was mentioned that possibly it's the transmission, and that a fluid and filter change are much needed (I had planned on doing this anyway, I was just hoping for some better weather, ie. Spring time), but this problem is forcing my hand.

Problem #2
Tonight on my way home, I was stopped at a light and felt as though the truck was trying to surge. When I got home (a couple miles away), I played around with it in the driveway a bit. When I shifted from drive or reverse to neutral or park, the idle would drop to 400-500 rpm, and it seemed as though the truck was about to stall out. If I hit the gas, it'd drop back to an idle around 700.

I pulled the IAC and cleaned that tonight, as well as changing the engine oil. After I finished that, I played around with the shifting a bit. This is what I found when I shifted:

1 or 2 --> N/P, no change.
D or R --> N/P, idle dropped.

It almost seems as though the transmission is hanging up and not fully disengaging. Does this sound at all plausible? I know that without changing the fluid and filter, it's hard to pinpoint anything, but is there anything else I should try looking for?

I'm also wondering if both problems are actually just 1 problem, and that the fluid and filter change will take care of it (I hope).

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Concerns?
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated

(no subject)

I FINALLY got around to replacing the plugs and wires in my truck. Holy crap they needed it!

Spec for the gab is .060-.068". These measured around .080"!

Hopefully this will get rid of the hiccup/stumble I've been feeling lately when it's been cold.

1, 2, and 3
1, 2, and 3

4, 5, and 6
4, 5, and 6

This was absolutely THE worst plug change I've ever done. It took me roughly 3 hours to get them all out and changed. I miss the days of my old 82 Chevy C-10 with the straight-6. I could (had to) sit in the engine compartment to change the plugs.

For reference, this is on an 03 Ranger with the 4.0L V6.
fear & loathing
  • hadlock

name this car

Found by a friend in Amsterdam a couple days ago(?)

Any ideas? Renault comes to mind, and the super skinny tires make me think of a Messerschmitt

edit: video of said car

only 790 made, only 27 still exist

this needs to be shared.

A couple friends...

Dave: WTF is wrong with all of the fools liking the *new Lotuses.
bill: kill them all
Dave: A lotus should be a 2000# overpriced POS that falls apart if you look at it wrong.
That's what it is.
There's no shame in that.
BUT NO!!!!
"We want to be Ferrari"
bill: i agree completely
bill: the only way a lotus should even be 3600 lbs is if they decided to get into the "ultra-high performance 18-wheeler" market
Dave: And even then, Chapman would have built the 18 wheeler to come in at only 3200#
bill: exactly
it would last one month beyond the warranty, and it would blow your mind.
Dave: bingo
bill: i hope there's no afterlife
otherwise we have seen the end of everything Colin Chapman worked for and he will likely haunt this world forever.
Dave: And frankly, I'm pretty terrified by the thought of a demon who goes by the mantra "add lightness"
bill: yeah. you should be. it's worse than all of the SAW movies

  • Current Mood
    amused amused
Big Six

One Wire to Rule Them All

Vehicle: 1971 Lincoln Mark III Continental
Engine: 460 Ford (7.5 L)

I am looking to upgrade the alternator on my thunder-sled. What to buy?

Here's my dilemma. Ideally, I would like to replace the ~65 amp externally regged unit with a ~100 amp internally regged one. However, I am really not sold on the idea of a self-exciting one-wire alternator like so many performance stores sell. I'd vastly prefer a unit where the regulator is switched on by IGN power, and the voltage at the splice is read by a sensing wire which adjust voltage output appropriately. Many GM 10si units are like this, I retrofitted one to a Studebaker, but I have a lot less choice with this old Ford. One wire units are functional, but much less precise. I have doubts about whether they charge as well at idle.

A few I'm considering:



Yes, one-wire, its seems unavoidable if i want internal reg aftermarket. Both also appear to be modified GM 10si case, although the descriptions are unhelpful as to whether "one wire CAPABLE" mean one wire exclusively, or whether I can still hook up an IGN feed to the often-exposed regulator spades.

The belt routing on this car is already a small nightmare (Four v-belts) so the right case style is a plus, I'd really rather not ride the Washer-Stack Express to I-tossed-a-belt-ville.

The existing external regulator harness is a real patch job and I'd like its ugly sparking ass out of my engine bay. I also have reason to believe the stock alt's diodes are bad, which is why I'm so eager to replace everything.
  • Current Music
    Rolling Stones - Can't Always Get What You Want
fear & loathing
  • hadlock

tomos mopeds

Does anyone have experience with these things? As near as I can tell they are a slightly warmed-over version of the exact same thing they were building in 1970 in Slovenia - stamped metal frame, 50cc carburated 2 stroke, 30-35mph top end with 2 speed auto tranny.

Except that you can still buy them new in the US, with that same feature set. This thing is exactly what you dreamed about doing to your bicycle when you were 14 years old, and they usually run $300-500 used. The top tank model even looks like a tiny toy-sized cafe racer: http://www.tomosusa.com/pages/model/lx/54 or with different handle bars http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3231/2956333153_3e825fa53e.jpg?v%200 Apparently they're fairly reliable too - not much to break and what does break can usually be fixed with a screwdriver or replacing a $30 part, and needing a rebuild after ~5000 miles.

Anyways, they seem fairly popular in the midwest (ohio, michigan) but it's almost impossible to find them as far south as Dallas. Besides Craigslist, Ebay and MopedArmy does anyone know where to buy one used? $1500 new seems a little steep...

Bottom end help

Back story:

My father-in-law "sold" my wife and I his old boat when he bought his new Chaparral. The boat's a 1987 Four Winns 190 Horizon with the Merc 165 (4 cylinder, 470 block, Ford 460 heads). He's the original owner, and bought it brand new back in 1987. Roughly 12 years ago, he rebuilt the motor after one of the wrist pins let go.

At the end of last year, one of the pistons broke, and we pulled the motor and rebuilt it this past spring (bored to +.030", decked the head and block, did a valve job, and turned the crank). Got it back together, in the boat, and she ran like a top...until a couple weeks ago. We pulled the motor, only to find piece of copper sitting in the oil pan, and a bunch of smoked crank bearings. The top end and cylinders look fine, so at least the damage was contained in the bottom end.

The big question, now that we know WHAT happened, is HOW this happened. The believe right now is that the o-ring that seals the oil pick-up tube to the oil pump was too loose. When we pulled the bolt out holding the pick-up end of the pick-up, the tube practically fell out. Since it was such a loose fit, we're thinking that it sucked air, and foamed itself up and starved the bottom end.

Any other thoughts on what could have happened?

(no subject)

So last night my father-in-law and I swapped out my driver's side CV shaft on my 03 Ranger, as the boot has been torn for 6000+ miles, and I was noticing a roar around 20mph, and again around 70+. The boot band got dinged at some point, and I'm pretty sure it was when they shop replaced that bearing, but I can't prove it, but that's beside the point.

The problem is that the roar didn't go away, unfortunately. I'm not trying to figure out what could be the problem. The only things left are the passenger side CV shaft, bearing, or a U joint.

Any thoughts on what it could be, or what I should look for to test each component?