Rodan Dork
6/11/19 3:39 p.m.

In reply to mr2s2000elise & Floating Doc :

Neither was really an option.  But the other party's insurance is paying, and the body shop has a lifetime warranty.  They do good work, certainly better than I can do!


Rodan Dork
6/11/19 3:40 p.m.

In other news, my sat antenna relocation seems to have worked.  Mounted the camper up today, and had no issues with reception on my post-camper mounting test circuit.  We'll see what happens when we get 1000 miles north of here...

mr2s2000elise HalfDork
6/11/19 7:23 p.m.
Rodan said:

In reply to mr2s2000elise & Floating Doc :

Neither was really an option.  But the other party's insurance is paying, and the body shop has a lifetime warranty.  They do good work, certainly better than I can do!


I wasnt encouraging you to sell it. Just sharing my silly OCD that I cant cure. If i get scrape or accident, car goes to body shop, gets sold week after. I just cant let post body shop car live in my garage or driveway.


i am not normal. But i am me . I spent too much time chasing perfection 

Rodan Dork
7/1/19 8:26 a.m.

Back from two weeks on the road...  full story later, but here's a teaser:

ZL1 on the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway in WY


And part of the upcoming road, taken from the same overlook

Rodan Dork
7/7/19 1:07 p.m.

Sorry, meant to come back to this sooner, but it's been a busy week... we came home to a leaking toilet, and non-functional garage door opener, so those had to be repaired in the midst of catching up at work on a holiday week. indecision

Backing up a bit, prior to leaving I had to load the ZL1 and ensure the new tie down straps would work, and I could get the tongue weight where I needed it.  The tie downs were sourced from Mac's and are the 'over the wheel' variety, designed to latch into E track.

The ZL1 is a tight fit in the trailer, and keeping the ratchets out from under the car requires all of the E track I installed.  It's also wide, which requires some contortion to get in to set the straps in place.  It worked perfectly, though... the car didn't move at all over 4000 miles, and once we got a routine down, it was fairly quick to tie down.  Which was good, because we had to load it in the rain once... cheeky

The tongue weight with the ZL1 loaded was high enough that I couldn't bring my bike along... oh well, 1st world problems.


Rodan Dork
7/7/19 1:43 p.m.

Our first night out  was in Price, UT, and we discovered our hot water heater was contaminated when our hot water smelled like rotten eggs... yuk.   

The next morning we continued up 191 through Utah.  Here's a couple of shots from north of Vernal on 191.

We spent the next few days in Cody, WY at the Absaroka Bay RV park.  A little tight in the park, but typical for a tourist location.

At least there was room for the ZL1 after we got it unloaded.

Kona was just happy to be out of the truck and in the camper after two days on the road!

She got to spend her days at the Cody Country Bed & Biscuit dog day care while we were running around.  Great place, and reasonably priced.

Our first day in Cody we spent in town, mostly at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

I could post pages of pics, but let it suffice to say that if you're in Cody, you need to check it out!   Another very cool thing in Cody is the Dug Up Gun Museum, which is in town, and free.  They have displays of found guns (many literally 'dug up') dating back to the Revolutionary War.  Most are rusted hulks, but are very intersting for the stories they tell, and the circumstances of their discovery.  If you're into guns and/or history, check it out.


Rodan Dork
7/7/19 1:53 p.m.

Our second day, we took a road trip over the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway (WY296) to the Beartooth Hwy (US212) over Beartooth pass, and had lunch in Red Lodge, MT before returning to Cody.

Beartooth peak, which is a bit North of the highway:

This is a spectacular drive... great road, and the scenery is spectacular.  The supercharged LT4 in the Camaro didn't care at all about the altitude, and provided plenty of grunt, even over the 11000ft pass.  The more I drive the ZL1, the more I'm impressed with it as a GT car.  Despite the track capability, it's comfortable and relaxed, even tearing along an alpine road like this.

Beartooth pass opened for the season only a few weeks before we were there, so out of an abundance of caution, I had swapped the all-seasons back on the ZL1 for the trip.  Turns out the road was dry, so I could have left the summers on...

That doesn't mean there wasn't still snow!

The views from the top are absolutely spectacular!

Coming down the Montana side isn't bad either...

After a nice lunch in Red Lodge, we returned to Cody the short way, got some ice cream, picked up the dog and prepared for departure the next morning.

Rodan Dork
7/7/19 2:03 p.m.

The next two days were spent trudging across Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota via I94 and into Hudson, WI where we would be visiting family for a week.

There, Kona got to play with her BFF Fiona, my sister's boxer.  They hadn't seen each other for a year, but it was on immediately!

All too soon, it was time to head for home.  Had to stop in Blue Earth, MN the first day out for a pic with the Jolly Green Giant...

We spent the first night in Chadron State Park in NW Nebraska.

Beautiful place, but it was 97*F, so we stayed in the AC most of the evening.  The next morning there were wild turkeys walking through the campground.  We're looking at returning for a few days in cooler weather!

The next two days were just trudging along the highway to get home.  

Aside from the stinky water heater, everything worked as expected and it was a great trip!

And now that I've got the toilet and garage door fixed, it's time to get back to work on projects.  We're signed up for the Alfa Club's driving school in September at Willow Springs, so I've got to start prepping for that!

Rodan Dork
8/9/19 11:27 a.m.

So, sorry for the lack of updates... got super busy at work over the last month and didn't spend much time working on the cars.

I did finally finish a house project that had been languishing for a while.  Last year, I damaged a fence shared with our neighbor when the support pad at the rear of our trailer caught on the chain link.  Damage to the trailer was very minor and easily fixed, but it buggered up the fence pretty good.  Fortunately, it presented an opportunity... when we bought our house, it had a 6' wood privacy fence around the yard, except for ~50ft on one side, which was 4ft chain link.  I always hated it, and wanted to extend the 6' fence all around.

We had a ton of rain last summer and fall, so I never got started on the project, until last week, and it's finally finished.

Ignore the orange plastic fence in the foreground... that was temporary to keep the dog contained while building the fence.  I also replaced  the man gate in the front with a double gate, so I can get a car in.  Eventually, I'll build some kind of carport/shelter and put in some pavers so I have an additional parking spot.  Now I just need to make a dump run to get rid of the leftover materials, and the old fence panels that were removed during the course of the project.

Rodan Dork
8/9/19 11:46 a.m.

I also started prepping the Camaro for our track outing in September.

Back in April, I picked up some camber plates from Vorschlag, but never installed them because of the parking lot incident that laid up the Camaro for most of May.  Last weekend I put the car up for an oil change, and I finally got around to installing them...

Next up was alignment, which went fine, but I have to rant a bit about GM and their engineering decisisons...

<rant on>

So, GM in their questionable wisdom decided to use TTY (torque to yield) fasteners for the rear camber and toe adjustment bolts.  I wasn't certain of this, but after doing a bit of research and confirming it, I ordered the proper bolts.  Then I had to put the alignment back because it took longer than expected to get them in.  First, why in the HELL would you use a one-time fastener on something that adjusts alignment!  Second, if you choose to do something that stupid, the dealer should berkeleying keep the bolts in stock!

So, I get to the shop, and the tech gets it up and after a while he comes into the waiting room to talk.  Now, this is a good tech, and he's done alignments for me for years.  He tells me that there's no way to change the rear camber bolt without removing the springs... well that makes sense, as the control arm is under spring pressure... again WHY would you use a single-use fastener in this location!!??  After some discussion, we elect to leave the original bolts in-place for now.

So, TLDR... if you follow the book, an alignment on a 6th gen Camaro will cost you $500-600 including new TTY bolts and the labor to basically disassemble the entire rear suspension to install them.  WTF??

<rant off>

Good news is I was able to hit the alignment numbers I was looking for, and the car drives great.  I'm trying to determine if I'm going to replace those bolts next time... at least I have them in stock.

Oh, and this happened in the Camaro yesterday...

Had 2700 and change when we bought it, so we're on track for ~ 10k/year.

Rodan Dork
8/9/19 11:51 a.m.

The other thing that happened about a week ago... I was on an early morning drive in the Camaro on our local mountain road, and came across this guy...

He had run off the road on the right, and caught the end of the guardrail with his rear wheel... broke the axle off the suspension mounts, and the driveshaft.  I stopped and walked over to see if he was OK and he was trying to drive away with the transmission sounding like a blender full of ball bearings.  He was drunk as a skunk at 6:40 am...

I called the cops and flagged traffic 'till they arrived, since it was on a blind corner, and didn't want him to add someone else to his problems.

I later found out he was over double the legal limit.  Just glad he didn't hurt anyone.

Rodan Dork
8/20/19 4:59 p.m.

The Camaro is pretty much ready for the AROSC driving school in a few weeks at Willow Springs, but the Miata needed a couple of things.  It's mostly ready to go, since I last looked it over for our Memorial Day track weekend that didn't happen.

One thing I had planned to do this summer was build a cage, but that just didn't happen.  As a result, the planned fire suppression system didn't happen either.  I decided it was time to install a fire extinguisher, something I should have done a long time ago.  Today I fabbed up a simple bracket to hold the extinguisher.  It bolts under the front passenger seat bracket.  Easy, peasy, and I can reach it from the driver's seat.

The extinguisher is Purple K... I plan to use aqueous foam when I upgrade to a real fire suppression system.

Rodan Dork
8/20/19 5:05 p.m.

On another note, I had been collecting turbo parts to eventually turbo the NA.  Recently, KMiata announced their K24Z3 swap, which eliminates the need for a fabricated subframe, reducing the cost of the swap parts, and the engines are cheaper than the K20/24A.  This is starting to look really attractive....

Lots of number crunching going on right now... cheeky

Rodan Dork
8/28/19 12:07 p.m.

Getting stuff together to load the trailer for our upcoming trip to Willow Springs.  I always get a chuckle when I put a stack of Miata tires next to a stack of Camaro tires... cheeky


Rodan Dork
9/5/19 10:22 a.m.

So, our E36 M3ty luck continues...

Last week, I got the NA and most of the track stuff loaded in the trailer.  This week, the plan was to load the camper in the truck so we'd be ready to hook up and go next Friday.

Yesterday, something in my hip went *SNAP*! as I was getting in the car for work, and it felt like several knitting needles were stuck through my knee.  Any weight at all on a bent knee was excruciatingly painful.  And of course, it's my right (gas and brake) leg...

After a few hours at the doctor, I've discovered I have acute tendinitis of the Iliotibial Band... something I didn't know existed until yesterday.  Well, now I'm learning all about it.  indecision  

Since there's no way I can guarantee I'll be in shape to drive the 800 mile round trip to Willow Springs next week, much less drive on the track, I had to cancel our entry.  I'm really bummed for my wife, as she was really looking forward to it. sad

Recovery is supposed to take up to 4-6 weeks...  I'm hoping to be back up to speed in less.  We'll see...

So, this year we've missed one track weekend because our truck was rear-ended, one because the Camaro got hit, and now one because I'm falling apart.   


Rodan Dork
9/8/19 1:52 p.m.

Amazingly, my leg was ~40% back after 24-36hrs, and it's now about 65-70% back.  I'm still glad I cancelled next weekend's track plans... I would not have been ready.

That said, after a few days of sitting around on my ass, I needed to do something.  Streaming beats the crap out of daytime TV, but I couldn't sit on the couch any longer.

The next step after completion of the privacy fence I spoke of above was some sort of carport.  I decided to start with a Harbor Freight 10x20 Carport, on sale for $79...

HF 10x20 carport

If I like how this works out, I'll build something a bit more permanent, as I'm guessing the cover on this thing will only be good for 2 years tops in the AZ sun.

Got the thing home and opened up.

You'll notice some galvanized pipe that's not like the others... I did some research online, and this thing will get modded right out of the box.  The galvanized pipe is 1 3/8" chainlink top rail that I'll be using to make additional spars to support the canopy.

However, the first mod was chopping ~4 1/2" off the legs to lower the edge of the canopy below the top of my fence.

Next was supporting the two-piece legs at the joint with 1 1/4" PCV, and metal screws into the legs.

Next was getting the frame up.  This was kind of fun with a gimpy leg, and a wife who's helpful, but not particularly mechanically inclined... cheeky  It's also a tight fit...  I'll have to duck to get out the garage side door, but I don't use it much anyway.

Next step is to get the additional trusses installed and get everything screwed together (it doesn't come with screws...), but that will require a ladder, which I'm not quite ready for.  Then I can get it securely anchored (I also need to pick up some decent rope... ) and get the canopy up. 

Shadeux Reader
9/8/19 4:24 p.m.

In the meanwhile you can print out a sign and tape it to the door! cheeky

Rodan Dork
9/14/19 3:05 p.m.

Added the extra trusses and got the top up today.

Rodan Dork
9/22/19 6:50 p.m.

So, this weekend I finally got around to replacing axle pivot bushings, radius arm bushings, and the tie rods/drag links on our '92...  I've only had the parts sitting on the shelf since last Winter... blush

What should have been a half-day job turned into all weekend... angry

Nothing went easy, from the very start, and then the driver's side slid off the jack and pulled loose the slip joint on both the axle and the driveshaft...  angry

I ended up pulling the axle all the way out, and got the stock pivot bushings out without any issues.  I'm using Energy Suspension urethane replacements for the pivot and radius arm bushings.  So, yesterday, I got the new bushings pressed in, and everything back under the truck.  And the pivot bushings wouldn't go in the brackets... so I gave up for the night.

This morning, I measured the brackets (I have 4" lift, don't remember the brand... I put it on 6 years ago) and the ES bushings are ~.040" too long... angry

I pressed the center steel sections out of the bushings, and hit them with the angle grinder to make them fit, then trimmed off some of the urethane to match and I was FINALLY able to get the pivot bushings into the bracket and get the bolts in.  Then I had to break out the come-a-long, to get the radius arms back in place with the new bushings.

The whole ordeal required 3 jacks, 2 big jack stands, and a multitude of regular ones.  Not to mention a LOT of cussing... angry

Once the bushings were in, I got the springs, shocks and brakes re-installed, and it was time for the steering parts.

The steering parts are a mix of E/F250/350 parts, which are heavier duty than the stock Bronco parts, but bolt up to the pitman arm and knuckles.  They're definitely much beefier than the stock parts.

So I roughed in the toe, and it's finally finished, except for the front driveshaft... one of the u-joints dumped all it's bearing needles out on the driveway when I pulled it. angry

Now I just need new u-joints so I can re-install the front driveshaft, but at least that's a pretty simple job.

And an alignment.  Gonna try to schedule that tomorrow.

Even though this job was an 8.5 on the angry scale, it definitely drives much better. laugh

Rodan Dork
9/28/19 12:45 p.m.

Got the new U-joints in and everything greased up.

Alignment appointment is Monday morning.

Rodan Dork
9/29/19 3:36 p.m.

Today, I got the NA unloaded from the trailer.  Also unloaded most of the stuff that was going to Willow Springs before we had to cancel.

Pulled the Conti ECS tires off the NB, and swapped on its winter shoes...

Put that set on the NA...

The Rivals that were on the NA are in the garage.  I don't expect freezing temps for a few more weeks, but it's getting down into the 40s so I might as well get ahead of the curve.

NA is moved under the shelter for now.  It may spend the winter there... not sure yet.


We're signed up for a local trackday next weekend...  just going to take the ZL1 and try to keep things simple.  I really need to get it on a track...

We may be doing a PCA event with both cars in November... working on the logistics for that.

Rodan Dork
9/30/19 12:47 p.m.

Got Bronco aligned this morning...  fortunately the tech didn't have to dive into the camber/caster shims, so it was quick and easy.  45 minutes and $50.  Can't beat that!

Best part is driving it at highway speeds is no longer a white knuckled adventure in uncommanded direction changes! cheeky

Now it's time to go through the brakes, and put in new front wheel bearings.

Rodan Dork
10/6/19 3:43 p.m.

So, we FINALLY!! got the Camaro on the track... laugh

Unfortunately, it was a mixed bag... indecision

In almost every way, the ZL1 was exactly what I expected it to be, and that's pretty berkeleying awesome.  I don't think I've ever driven a factory stock car this capable on track.  Except maybe my buddy's GT3.  Everything just works, and it manages its bulk very well.  And it's FAST!

Well, most of the time...

As I started to get comfortable pushing it a little harder, I started to experience a surging/hesitation at full throttle on the straights.  It's there in all the straights on this quick clip, but most apparent after the chicane at ~00:32...


At first I thought it might be traction/stability control screwing with me, but cycling through the various modes, the surging was present even with all the nannies turned off.

The good news, is the car didn't try to kill me with all the nannies off, and it was actually quite managable. cheeky

For now, I've got some feelers out on the Camaro forums, and have identified a TSB that might be related.  Going to the dealer tomorrow to discuss it with the service folks... not looking forward to that, since I know there's no way they can duplicate the issue.  Hopefully the video will be sufficient.

Other than that, the ZL1 peformed to expectations, and the wife is happy now that she's been able to track it! laugh

No Miata this trip, just took the Camaro. 

On the way home, I asked my wife which was the most fun to drive, and she said.... the MIATA!!  cheeky

Rodan Dork
10/6/19 3:47 p.m.

Some other cool stuff there this weekend:

Four door ZL1

Tarted up Rally FiST - good driver, too!

UMS tuning Time Attack Miata (UMS tuned my NA)


Blue ZL1 1LE

It was definitely ZL1 day yesterday... 4 ZL1s and 4 ZL1 1LEs!!

Rodan Dork
10/9/19 9:16 a.m.

Took the ZL1 to the dealer Monday, picked it up last night.  They completed the TSB, but as I feared, were absolutely clueless on the full throttle surging problem.   No error codes were set in the computer, and even though I provided video of the problem occurring, they basically refused to do anything since they couldn't duplicate the problem.  Well no E36 M3... you don't have a racetrack handy to drive it on.   They suggested I just see if it does it again next time...  I explained that a significant financial outlay is involved with running on the track, and none of it gets refunded if the car isn't working right.  When I asked if they were going to reimburse me for that if the problem persists, I got the blank stare.... angry

The service manager was out, so I'll go back and talk with him next week.  I also discovered another TSB that may be related, so I'll bring that up.  

On a brighter note, I discovered that the Performance Data Recorder (PDR), with which I took the above video, also records a variety of data, which can be displayed through free software from Cosworth.  I downloaded it last night to see if I could figure out anything related to the surging.  Unfortunately, it only records throttle position (not duty cycle or any other fueling details)... but at least I could see the computer was seeing 100% throttle during the surging events.

I was also able to see that none of the temps were wildly out of range... so at least that was useful in ruling out overheating as a cause.

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