Saturday, 24th of May, 2003
Picture - In spite of Reid's acceptance to Stanford University already, he's still spending his spare time reading college books. Together with some others who share his interest, the college book section has become a popular hangout place among some of my close friends recently.
Picture - So I'm thumbing through Sport Compact Car and Jeff's Saab gets thrown in the same page as a bunch of modern hotted up riceboxes to be featured!
Friday, 23rd of May, 2003
"First, it's important to understand that your car antenna not only receives signals, but that it also radiates or "leaks" frequencies when in operation. The Los Angeles Times says these transmissions are the triggering power for a whole new breed of "smart billboards" that can change their subject matter to suit the demographics of a listening audience. The first three intelligent billboards are already being installed on Southern California freeways."
The 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom is out of control. "The rear "coach doors" are hinged aft, and one eschews the term "suicide" doors for any as intelligent as these. A rear door can be opened without opening its forward counterpart; both are automatically unopenable once the car reaches 2.5 mph. And should one be foolhardy enough to drive off with a rear door unsecured, the brakes automatically bring the car to a halt." "...the Rolls-Royce hubcap centers are weighted and mounted to revolve freely - they read RR, regardless of wheel rotation!" I see some influence of the bling-bling market's independently-rotating wheel covers here...
Thursday, 22nd of May, 2003
Wednesday, 21st of May, 2003
Picture - The "new" cupholder from the 97 Legacy features a different design than the 98 - instead of a slanted track, it springs to the right after you pop it out with the button, so it allows easier driver access to radio and HVAC controls.
Monday, 19th of May, 2003
Picture - Removal was very easy. Three bolts and it was off. With the silencer and fender liner removed, you can see straight through the fender hole! But when I started the car, it would lope around when idling, and then sputter and die. Thinking it might be the ECU, we let that one sit with the positive terminal on the battery disconnected for a while. So we move on to Joe's 03 WRX while that one sits.
Picture - "WRX gives birth to intake silencer"! We had to jack up the corner of the car to let the wheel drop enough to access the plastic clips that hold the fender liner in place. Removing the hole thing would be too much trouble, we just loosened it enough to access the intake silencer. The top part was no problem, but there was one final nut that was quite difficult to get.
Picture - There was no room to stick the wrench in there and turn the nut. Joe decides the best way to access this nut is to remove the fog lamp. First we had to find a Phillips bit long enough to access it with our power screwdriver. That worked, though there was definitely no need to remove the top-right screw. Part of the power screwdriver also seemed to scrape against the bumper, taking off the paint... oops.
Picture - And the silencer is off! How does the fog light go back on again? Oh, right, you gotta bend back the plastic housing that got bent from letting the fog light hang like that. So we go and take it for a spin. The ECU had to figure things out, but by the end of the drive, all turbo lag was gone, you can hear the blow-off valve breathing, and it was overall an unbeatable mod - for free!
Picture - Now back to my car. Resetting the ECU did nothing. I must have knocked something off while pulling the silencer. I trace all the vaccuum hoses to see if they're still connected. Oh wow! The big fat one that connects the intake manifold to the middle of the intake tube was definitely off! Well let's fix that and go!
Picture - The pile of intake parts removed at the end of the day.
Picture - Now it's time to duct tape the holes in the fender left from the silencers, and we're good to roll!
The end product on my car after the ECU settled down is nice too. Overall, it's easier to deliver smooth power across the power band (there's more of it it seems), and above 3800 rpm, it's a noisemaker. There's a sweet spot around 2700 rpm where it blares out a nice solid tone, and at idle you can hear the rush of air by the hum it makes, which just further enhances its image as a spaceship.
Wednesday, 14th of May, 2003
Monday, 12th of May, 2003
Sunday, 11th of May, 2003
Saturday, 10th of May, 2003
Friday, 9th of May, 2003
Thursday, 8th of May, 2003
Tuesday, 6th of May, 2003
Now that I've put 8000 miles on the 185/70 14 General Ameri-G4S All-seasons, it's time to evaluate how they've been, because it's worth talking about. At $39 a tire on Tirerack, they're the cheapest tires one can get. So what DOES one get? Well, being so skinny, a good snow tire! All the snow storms we had this winter on the new tread and AWD was definitely superior to the normal all-season tire. They get a lot more traction than the BFG Radial T/As on Dad's Impreza. The other good point - a good rally tire! Went to a Rallycross event back in April and I was able to pendulum turn and drift just like the pros, it was excellent. Now what about normal street use? Well, they can handle up to 44psi, so that allows one to stiffen things up a little more than the usual flexible all-season tires for some autocrossing, which I did. Autocrossing definitely put away all hopes of seeing the benefits of a tire with the UTQG treadwear rating of 520. Two autocrossing schools later and a rotation in between and we're seeing about 40% of the tread gone. Dry traction leaves much to be desired - I couldn't decide on the proper pressure for street use - at factory 32/30 pressures, the tires would squeal at the slightest normal maneuver. Once you get about 38 psi, I could engage ABS on perfectly dry pavement. Not a good sign. The tires are also very noisy, worse than anything I've ever encountered, but ride is pretty normal, nothing unusual about that. Rain traction is better than average though, which is pretty nice for a $39 tire.
So in summary, it's a good tire for it's size - can't do much with 185-wide of tire, and they did a good job in making it perform well in rain, snow, and dirt. And for now, they're off the car, and I have All-seasons on my new wheels, so I might not even swap the Generals back on for the winter - but I don't think the RE92s will last for more than a year.
Monday, 5th of May, 2003
Thursday, 1st of May, 2003
Progress on the new dormitories was slightly hindered today when heavy rains from the past few days caused the soil to become loose on a pathway used for transporting construction equipment...
It just sank deeper and deeper.
Towing it out was one major operation.
#Don't build your house on the sandy land...