Saturday, 25th of October, 2003
Picture - After hunting around, I find something that looks like it, but to be sure, I set my digital camera on the engine pointing to it and go in the car and push the clutch pedal down a few times to see if it moves. It does - success. After sticking a couple wrenches in there I get it adjust to the way I like it. After driving around a little it no longer chirps - but I wonder if 1" is still too much. I may play with it a little more... but I think too much is better than too little, since I rev match anyway.
Picture - Joe's in town this weekend, and we stopped to look at the 12 RX-8s sitting at the Mazda dealer after going to Borders. I hear they're having problems moving them off the lots...
Friday, 24th of October, 2003
Now as for the clutch... the owner's manual does say there should only be .4" to .8" of free play in it - Lou Fusz gave the car back to me with 3". It felt kinda cool, but I guess it's also very bad - the clutch was never fully disengaging! I did kinda notice that it was hard to shift into 5th, and the car would always have a funny smell after driving it... Could the people at the dealership been so negligent as to both let a broken exhaust hanger hang there and rattle, and also not bother to adjust the free play? Hmmm... Well I got it adjusted back to something close to .4" now.
Thursday, 16th of October, 2003
The new clutch, even though it's OEM, has the lightest resistance of almost every car I've ever driven. Equal with that of a Toyota Matrix and Honda Civic. I know my clutch has lots of pedal travel, but half of it is now free play! It really feels nice, overall. The reason I had all of that replaced is because there were 2 things I knew were bad. 1. If it was cold or wet enough, the clutch would slip. 2. The throwout bearing was making a chriping noise when the clutch was engaged. 3. When it's cold it shudders all over the place unless I'm going over 2500 rpm.
After the new clutch is in, I learned some other things clutches aren't supposed to do. Clutch aren't supposed to make the car bounce back and forth several times when you lift off the throttle. The biting point on clutches shouldn't be 80% off the floor.
The old flywheel must have been just horribly heavy. Downshifting was also so much work - you had to mash the throttle to get the revs up to where you want it and then back off once it got there. With the new flywheel, you just tap the throttle and the engine goes to the right speed. If anything, it has made the car more streetable, not less. All shifts in general are now ultra-smooth, and downshifts take only 1/3rd or even less time than before.
I find it interesting that Lou Fusz didn't put the shield over the exhaust back on securely, though. You can hear it rattling even when idling!
Wednesday, 15th of October, 2003
Monday, 13th of October, 2003
Argh! Personal Identification Number Number? The Missouri DMV also made a boo-boo.
Typical Clayton driving... let's stop at the worst possible place in the intersection when there's a red light...
So the air filter on my car has gotten too soaked in water a couple times and caused the engine to run a little too rich in heavy rain. It's time to reroute the intake, so I bought some 3" diameter dryer vent hose to play with. Currently it sucks cold air directly from a 3" hole in the stock airbox. I attached a short hose to it and routed it around the hole in the fender to suck some relatively hot air from the engine bay. During the day, the intake got extremely hot, hurting performance somewhat. During the evening, though, it performed extremely well, I didn't notice any performance decrease in drawing air from the engine bay, and the ribbed surface of the vent hose makes it pretty loud between 2000 and 3500 rpm. You can hear the entire powerband in the video I took.
Thursday, 9th of October, 2003
I'm working on a simple project, I need to scan a file and print it. I load up Paint Shop Pro, hit Acquire. First of all, it takes 4 times longer for the "bulb to warm up" in Windows XP than in 2000 on my Visioneer 8700. I timed it with my watch, it sure is confusing. Not only that, but the TWAIN window stays on top of all my other windows, so I can't even use any other apps while the stupid bulb is warming up. Then, it finally when it hits "98% warmed up", the program hangs. I look in the Task Manager, and it says Paint Shop Pro is "Running" still. I wait about 2 minutes, and it finally kicks in, and I just get a general "scanner error" and I should "check my parameters". Repeated attempts were futile.
So then I try to print. The first attempt hangs, so I force the program to end and delete the print job off the queue. The print manager says "Deleting..." and stays that way. Hmmm. Well in the meantime I try to enqueue some more print jobs, and they don't show up in the print manager. Great. Now I have to reboot. At least Windows XP boots extremely fast, it's actually kinda impressive, but the point is to avoid booting at all. After rebooting, the jobs still aren't in the print manager, so I assume Windows had just lost them. I was surprised about half an hour later when I went to the printer and found 8 sheets of full colour pages printed on the wrong paper because I had taken it out, assuming the jobs were gone.
So then I try to load some files off of a CD. For some reason Windows XP finds a need to do something strange that involves reading the files on the CD because there are 2000 files on it and it took forever for the CD to come up. In the time it took to do that, about 1 minute, the machine exhibited sluggish behaviour similar to that of a Pentium 166Mhz. I did the same thing in Windows 2000 and the CD immediately came up.
It's back to Windows 2000 for me. At least I managed to maintain the dual boot for a while so I can come back easily. Any now I don't have to use PCManLan to print to my Appletalk printer either, Windows 2000 has built-in support for it.
Picture - Water beading and rolling on a car, at it's best.
Picture - Pretty...
Picture - Those are some huge beads on the roof there.
Picture - Went for a short 35 mph drive, a lot of the water rolled right off.
Wednesday, 8th of October, 2003
Sunday, 5th of October, 2003
Saturday, 4th of October, 2003
Clayton at night.