happy to sleep

So, it’s been an excellent weekend working on the car.

More inevitable tidying up, sweeping up and putting things in the roof of the garage to create more space.

Also, I think i’m probably done with the parts washer for a while, most things that need cleaning are now clean:

  • block pressure washed clean – lots of crud came off, and the oil-ways were shot through with water. The oil-pump was also manually exercised (we have video – it looked foul and disturbing and reminded me of the line in Clerks: “I masturbate caged laboratory animals for fun”.
  • pressure washed the inside of the rocker-cover. I’m now fairly positive there’s no grit in there. sand blasting it wasn’t a smart move.
  • front engine cover cleaned and polished. It’s not mirror shiny, but i’ll do that if i have a quiet evening.

Then came the good stuff. The pinto is out, the gearbox is out and all the bits that can be weighed have been weighed. I think the pinto with flywheel and clutch = 95kg. The duratec will weigh a lot less.

Next job is to put the new bellhousing on the duratec block and offer it up to the gearbox and shove it back into the car. Let’s see how far back I can get it.

weekly trading update

a reasonable week – 204 pips. It started out dull, nothing to really trade monday and tuesday, but the signals came good wednesday. I entered on the cable and the euro$ and suffered big reversals (note to self: if it’s sitting on a fib support, maybe not a smart idea to short it).

Rather than look at the losses, i stepped back to the weekly view and there were some patterns there that showed that it wasn’t near a significant monthly high or low and had developed a classic “M” pattern. So I waited until it had got properly wrong (to the tip of the M), and shorted again so when it recovered it would recover much faster. End result, 150 pips.

However, I did need to sit and watch this over a day and a half running a larger exposure than normal, but I’m starting to use stochastics more to reinforce my entry and especially to time my exit. Even though it looks like it could keep running, if the stochs are over bought or over sold, I look to exit. So far I’ve managed to get out either at the right point, or near enough to make little odds. One must remember it’s not possible to squeeze every last pip out. So don’t try. Be sure you bank some profit.

As a result, I still trade with large trailing stops. As soon as the big trade went into proper profit, I ran with 35 pip trailing stops.

More additions to the weight loss programme

So, all the lovely things arrived from RWD Motorsport today to attach the engine to the gearbox. I don’t have time to fit them yet (need to get the old engine out), but I did at least bother to weigh one crucial component – the flywheel. I’ve logged the new weight here in the weight loss programme page, but here is the headline figure: 12.7 down to 3.2.

That’s a scary loss of weight, and hopefully it doesn’t make the car undrivable. It should also be exciting with the AP Racing clutch that’s going in. So far, only my friends Jon, Sasha and I have managed to drive it without stalling. This new transmission installation will take it much closer to race-car in it’s feel; it should now at least give them a challenge.

And for your visual delectation, here it is in the flesh, next to the monster duratec item, or as my friends would say: Pics, or it didn’t happen.

i am the moon

as thin as a dead model

if I had a degree in divinity (BD), would that give me a degree in having an imaginary friend?

The joys of being old?

what a fantastic start to the day – I had to get a crank in the post to SBD Motorsport to get it machined for a keyway, and got to the post office for 8:50. Sure enough at 9am, the nice lady took me through some posting and insurance options and off I went. It took a few minutes. Looking over my shoulder, the queue was massive behind myself (to the door).

I wish I’d made her take me through all 20 options before I chose the first one.

Next week I may do the same thing again, but post a parcel to myself.

I could enjoy becoming an old gimmer.

forex update

update on last week – 35 pips down on the week due to a series of misplaced trades. note to self, if you’re awake at 5am and shouldn’t be, don’t trade. I mis-read my own signals. It took the 100+ pips trade on friday to bring it back to that defecit. I think this was further hampered by being out of the main sessions, so liquidity is low and swings are faster. or something.

After this mess, I’ve refined my own signals and analysed each trade that went south and am more cautious. As a result, I took 10 pips from a sluggish market yesterday when traditionally on a monday I do badly. Could have been 30 but i wasn’t ready to pull out (things peaked early). However, i did get signals of a reversal so closed trades with some profit. Overnight, that’s what the market did so i’m glad i got out.

Sometimes it’s harder to work out when to get out and takes some confidence to close early when the brain goes “when in profit, let it run”

shiny shiny

I am so tempted to follow up the rest of this title with “boots of leather”.

However, it’s about polishing aluminum, and is a protopost until I can get the video edited and post proper.

I’ve taken various approaches to polishing my cam-cover from my duratec, to various levels of success. Here’s a brief summary followed by some pictures for you to pleasure yourself over:

Device Power Source Result Picture
Nylon Cup Brush rechargable drill Spread the much about a bit
Steel Cup Brush rechargable drill scratched it as well as cleaned it a bit
Acetone (solvent based approach) elbow grease negligable impact
cup brush again air die-grinder with immediate cleaning afterwards started to clear it up but needed lots of wiping
cup brush, die grinder the part washer cabinet die-grinding in the parts washer meant all the much was washed away instantly rather than being ground in. a reasonable result
grit blaster air stupid, stupid, stupid. It managed to get the surface cleaner, but all the grit stuck to the varnished underside. I’m going to have to blast it with a pressure washer. I’m also replacing my surfactant based solution in the parts washer for solvent which will hopefully get the varnish off and the grit with it.
wet and dry paper (300, 600, 1000) elbow grease did a decent job on one part of the surface (curvy bit). I also spent time on the flat raised bit and got a good result – getting to a mirror finish
quickclean rubbing compound elbow grease, micropore cloths (lots of black oxide builds up and needs washing off immediately) good and improving the surface after it’s been scrubbed in the parts washer. It couldn’t get a mirror finish but did include a sealing compound, so no oxide build up afterwards
gunson polishing and buffing kit electric rechargable drill (again) great – now have a proper mirror shine

It’s not all perfect though, when you get up close to the mirror like surface, it’s still pitted. I will either try and get wet and dry onto the orbital to get it smooth, or stop bothering.

Dirty, dirty boy

So, I have my nice shiny grubby duratec on its engine stand, and have started stripping it down to get it clean and remove the many ancillary things I don’t need on it. I’d forgotten just how grubby an engine is from the scrappers – i’m getting through so many blue nitrile gloves working on this engine (not latex – keep that for the bedroom, kiddies).

So far, I have removed (without incident) the following:

  • power steering pump
  • aircon pump
  • exhaust manifold
  • inlet plenum chamber and throttle body
  • drive shaft that runs back along the engine to power a wheel
  • all the hoses (fingers intact)
  • the wiring harness (still intact – who knows which bits i will still need, although it is showing signs of being severed with a gas-axe by the scrappers).

Then came the water pump – eurgh. What a bloody fight that was.

As part of the great take-things-off-the-block-and-clean-them plan, I thought I’d take the water-pump off and chuck it in the parts washer with everything else – “what could go wrong?”, I hear you ask.

Out come the three bolts with a satisfying amount of initial resistance then freedom. “Ahh” I thought. This looks like it wants to come off”. So then I get round the back and tap the exposed lug to free it from its gasket. That lug even looked like it was meant to be tapped there. That it wanted to be tapped there.

Twang – off snaps the lug. Ahh well. Water pumps aren’t expensive, and even better it is fate telling me to get an electric one. However, I still can’t get it off. I’ve had at it with the rubber mallet on the front, and tried a few taps on the back with a hammer and screwdriver.

time passes …

I have got it out, in a less than technical or satisfying manner.

First, I tried getting a flywheel puller on it – no purchase.

Second, I resorted to twatting it from the side with a 2lb knockometer. Wonderful – it moved, a little.

More application of the NCB special and more daylight in the crack. I then had enough room to get a ball-joint splitter in there to ease it out (ahem). It’s now in complete kit form – looking at the fitting system (o-ring and friction fit), ford didn’t want that coming out… ever. Needless to say as the engine went through repeated heat/cool cycles it became ever more fast in there.

The only downside is one of the lugs holding the hole for it to screw into took a mild knock, and i’ll have to tap out the thread again. I have to remember that this being an ally engine means it has to be looked after like a sick Victorian child rather than a bomb-hammer proof pinto.

Now that it’s out, I will CAD up a blanking plate and get it cut. I’ve already extracted the thermostat from the housing. The legs for that are fragile, aren’t they?

Ref This Thread – LocostBuilders.co.uk