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Okay, two weird things this morning. One, my car spontaneously shut… - The Veritable TechNinja [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
The Veritable TechNinja

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[Jun. 6th, 2002|10:19 am]
The Veritable TechNinja
Okay, two weird things this morning. One, my car spontaneously shut down while driving down Okemos road. The ECU completely stopped responding. My gagues all went flat, my turn signals were either inoperable or the dash indicators weren't working, and I _lost power steering_. The engine was not turning, so I had to assume my emergency flashers were on as I coasted in to a driveway and parked. Turned the key to off, hopped out, checked my ignition system. All is well. Got back in, turned over just fine (in fact, the easiest engine start in a while), went on my merry way. According to the powertrain guys here, that's entirely inexplicable if I was fine afterwards, the only explanation they can offer is EMF or radio frequency interference. Wacky.
Second, I saw a Fiat Punto with a manufacturer plate on I-96 today. Fiat hasn't been in the US for years, what the hell are they doing with an eastern european market econobox in the states? Honestly I don't care, I just want to know if I can get a Barchetta now. 2700-pound, 160 lb/ft of torque, sport suspension, two-seat roadster for about $20k. Mmmmmmm...
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Comments:
From: meta_x
2002-06-06 08:24 am (UTC)
One, my car spontaneously shut down while driving down Okemos road. The ECU completely stopped responding. My gagues all went flat, my turn signals were either inoperable or the dash indicators weren't working, and I _lost power steering_. The engine was not turning, so I had to assume my emergency flashers were on as I coasted in to a driveway and parked. Turned the key to off, hopped out, checked my ignition system. All is well. Got back in, turned over just fine (in fact, the easiest engine start in a while), went on my merry way. According to the powertrain guys here, that's entirely inexplicable if I was fine afterwards, the only explanation they can offer is EMF or radio frequency interference.

uh...NOT COOL, especially when we have a road trip coming up. have any of the guys in your building actually looked to see if anything is wrong?
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2002-06-06 08:40 am (UTC)
T came up with an entirely viable answer: my keychain is very heavy and long, and I bumped it with my knee, causing it to partially fall out. Fixed that.
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[User Picture]From: recovry
2002-06-06 08:44 am (UTC)

My topaz has done the same thing to me. I wouldn't necessarily attribute your problem to the smae thing but its possible that it is just and onboard computer glitch. Perhaps its shutting itself down before it overheats - I dunno. Mysteries of the universe type stuff.
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From: llewner
2002-06-06 09:14 am (UTC)
Drop a V8 in there and then we can talk ;)
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2002-06-06 09:23 am (UTC)
A V8 in a Barchetta would only destroy it's weight distribution and make it uncontrollably torquey. I was thinking more like a new intake, heads, a turbo, overbore with new pistons and rods, balanced and dry-sumped crank, headers, and dual 2 1/2" straightpipes. Besides, it's a front-wheel drive car.
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From: llewner
2002-06-06 09:28 am (UTC)

Re:

And after another 20k in modifications you might have a nice little scooter. But I'd rather just make it rear wheel, and center mount the engine. ;) It'd be cheaper, and make for the ULTIMATE sport car. I had a friend do that with a small body pick-up once. It handled like a freeking BMW, but with a 440! :)

btw: There is no such thing as uncontrollably torquey. ;)
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2002-06-06 11:09 am (UTC)
There's not much you can do to an engine after that much modding, let alone $20k worth. All it would need after an engine rebuild like that is a set of springs & struts, new tires, brake pads and rotors, and some anti-roll bars. Maybe another $2500. As for being a scooter, I'd estimate it would push around 380-420hp after those mods, and at 2700lb that's F1 speed. For less than $40k. As for relocating the engine, that's theoretically impossible, unless you're talking completely gutting and rewelding the thing from the subframe up. As for sticking a Hemi in the bed of a truck, I highly doubt it would ride like a BMW. It would ride more like a truck with a Hammy in the bed, with it's suspension thrown completely off by the engine relocation. To put this in perspective, I know an avid SCCA racer that made a bet with someone he met at the track. He took his Formula Ford car (about 1300lb, stock Escort ZX2 engine, RWD) and pitted it against a supercharged, 550-horse Corvette. He smoked it by over 10 seconds in a 2-lap race around a 2 1/2 minute road course. Why? Because the Vette had shitty aftermarket springs that were chopped for extra drop, no replacement adjustable struts, and it was still big and cumbersome.
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From: llewner
2002-06-06 12:38 pm (UTC)
Man, good tires alone would/could (I guess you have to define "good") cost you $2500!

As for the truck. Like I said, it was a light bodied Ram50, or S10 or something like that. It wasn't that big to begin with, and it was already lowered and set up for street racing, the center mounting of the engine was more of a "hey, I wonder what this will do" sort of thing. It ended up offering almost perfect weight distribution over the vehicle, without the issues normally associated with trucks. Let alone most heavy, "muscle" cars.

Btw: I'm pretty sure it was a stock '70 - '71 Chrysler 440 RB, not the 426 Hemi.
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2002-06-06 01:10 pm (UTC)
Good _road_ tires.

It's still a vehicle designed from square one to haul heavy things over uneven terrain. Lowering a car without completely adjusting factors like camber, caster, strut pressure, STB and roll bar diameter, &c will destroy it's handling performance, probably make it shred through those $2500 tires you speak of. Besides, who the hell buys a truck to lower it, throw an engine in the bed, and race it? It's a fucking pickup! If you want a Chrysler car that rides low, goes fast, and doesn't cost a lot, buy a Stealth!
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From: llewner
2002-06-06 01:48 pm (UTC)

Re:

People who like to be unique and origional.
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2002-06-06 04:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes of course, original like the manufacturers of the F150 Lightning, or the Chevy "Xtreme", or the Dakota R/T... I should have known you meant guys who like to dump thousands of dollars into looking like imbeciles driving vehicles absurdly reworked from their intended purpose. Yes, the thousands of unique individuals. "Look, everybody, I'm being a dumbass in an entirely new way!"
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From: llewner
2002-06-06 06:29 pm (UTC)
"intended purpose" < scoffs > Blah, everything is just fashion these days anyhow. And when you dig into it, the mechanics of things isn't all THAT different. Frankly, the best drag racing engines and posi's out there come out of old trucks. Just mod them slightly, and there you go. So, if you like a truck, why not make it into a race car. I mean, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before one of the major auto manufacturers gives it a try (and a real try, not any of this half-assed stuff we're seeing now).

Anyway I suspect you wouldn't find it intruiging to see someone mount a Lincoln Continental body on an S10 frame, or do the same thing with an Elcamino, or even a Brat. I've had friends who've done all of the above. Personally I think someone who takes the initiative to do something unique and creative on their own is to be commended. Especially when they do the work themselves (I knew a guy who molded a 3' dorsal fin, tail, and flippers out of fiberglass onto his '70something VW Bug and turned it into a killer whale). Frankly, it doesn't take much work to mid mount an engine, you can fab some support structures, and cut/weld/grind your own engine mounts. I've done it before for my old Ram50 (custom engine mounts that is).

By the way, the truck I mentioned before was NOT a low-rider, it was built for racing (and just for general interest), not for low-riding. While the two may posess similar elements, a low-rider is by nature and intention, completely different. But, even as low-riders are concerned. I am objective enough to appreciate some of the work put into these vehicles. I think the Gullwing Dualy Van is awesome, along with the VW Bus Convertable w/ the huge wing. Sure it's silly. But then again, most everything is. Not everything and everyone is utilitarian. Perhaps if we all were socialists then you'd have a case. But as we're all capitalists. Fuck, if it makes you happy, and you can afford it, go for it. Anyhow, like I said, I appreciate unique things. The vehicles you listed (lightning, ect), those arn't unique, they're mass marked trendy toys for automatons. Even the REAL specialty trucks, like the non-street legal Dodge Dakota Racing Trucks, arn't unique, they're just fast.

But ultimately, without people willing to do strange things ("Super Beetle", what?), where would innovation be?
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[User Picture]From: recovry
2002-06-06 06:42 pm (UTC)
"Look, everybody, I'm being a dumbass in an entirely new way!"

I was wondering when someone was gonna say it. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2002-06-06 09:34 pm (UTC)
*Ahem* The RB26DETT didn't come from a truck. The 2JZ-GTE didn't come from a truck. The 6G72 didn't come from a truck. Pretty much any car involved in _racing_ sports an engine that didn't come from a truck, mostly because the bulk of raceable car manufacturers don't bother making trucks. Hell, for that matter, the really commendable racing engines were purpose-built for applications like FIA and Endurance racing. This is dependent on the definition of racing, which would be motorsports that actually involve turning right.
As for shlepping together Frankenstein cars in the barn and drag racing down the dirt road, that's for hayseeds who can't figure out concepts like fuel injection. Ask any reputable race car fabricator how much it would cost them to convert a car chassis from front to mid engine, they'll laugh their asses off at you. Sure, any bumpkin with a TIG welder and a rusted out Nova can put a crate motor in the trunk and make it move forward under it's own power, but what's the point?
As for being "unique" by building some hideous, useless monstrosity, I think you may find your niche in new age cults, building "energy focusing pyramids". Hope you like kool-aid...
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From: llewner
2002-06-07 06:56 am (UTC)
Personally I'm a fan of Big Block engines, 10sec. Straight 1/4mi Drag Cars, and Torque that can lift the front end off the ground. I've never been a fan of circle track or auto cross. Well, maybe IT and GT class euro autocross. But, I still prefer stuff like the old 4wd 911's.

By the way Kevin. Shocker here. You are NOT God. Other people ARE allowed to have different opinions from you, without being morons. And it's sad that you think people who like to try to be unique are crackpot cultists. You need to learn some humility and realize that you are NOT the pinnacle of human evolution.

Zeig Heil!

Ever consider a career in the HJ's? I hear they have openings for people with superiority complexes and no tollerance for diversity.
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2002-06-07 07:57 am (UTC)
So how about putting one of those torque-monster engines and putting it in a car that can actually turn, brake, and maneuver? Skill comes in to play at that point.
People are entitled to their opinions. Mine is that draggers and truck racers are ill-bred imbeciles. I never said anything about inequity universally equaling cultists. I'm a big fan of innovation, just not when it serves no purpose. Spending your money bastardizing a vehicle never meant for racing when you could save quite a bit and start with a vehicle built for the purpose isn't innovation, it's folly. Go right ahead if you really want to, but I won't and never will.
As for my implied superiority complex, I only have one thing to say. I know full well I'm not an exceptional person, I just know I'm smart enough not to waste my enthusiasm on Goldbergian machinations. As for totalitarian fascism, I'm engaged to an Indian woman, dumbass. There's a clear, defined line between levity and taste. By the way, tolerance has one L.
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From: llewner
2002-06-07 08:22 am (UTC)
I said you were a facist, not a racist. They're not necessiarily the same thing.

btw: I can build a 10second car for about 10grand out of an old muscle car. How much can you build one out of a sport compact for?

I have to admit, most draggers are white bread, white trash morons. Even worse than muscle dragger are front wheel drive, sport compact draggers. Nothing worse than big fat slicks on the front end and little tiny tires on the back.

Personally I'm not into racing. I have an appreciation for a lot of various vehicles for various reasons. But as for me, I like comfort with satisfactory performance at a reasonable cost. Hence my 2001 Chrysler Sebring Sedan (although it was _bit_ over priced, even with my factory discount). I don't know about you, but when I drive siginificantly over the speed limit, I tend to attract unwanted attention of the law inforcement variety. So I prefer to have a vehicle that copes well upto about 125% of the speed limit, and is comfortable to ride in. Most sport compacts are too small for me, and ride too stiff (good for autocross, annoying on detroit streets). Even the new VW's don't really meet up to my standards. Not to mention they're outrageously priced.

As classic cars are concerned. I go for about the same things. Comfort, Fashion, and Moderate Performance. Hence my project to rebuild my '71 AMC Matador Police Cruiser.
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2002-06-07 09:11 am (UTC)
Why would I build a car around a quarter mile time? If I'm going to race, I'm going to be going for more than 10 seconds. But as for building a race car, I can build a 250hp, 1100lb, modified formula Ford car for about $10k. Or I can build a 500hp, AWD, 2500lb Audi A4 (BTCC spec) for around $25k.
How are import draggers worse than domestic draggers? Why do you irrationally hate them so? Could you be exhibiting fascist tendencies?
But as for classics and daily driver cars, I agree with you, except on the fashion part. I'd build a '53 Caddy Eldorado. I'm not really in to sport compacts either, I laugh my ass off on a regular basis at proposterous Civics. None the less, there are some imported cars that are quite impressive, like the Toyota Supra. Nothing compact about it. It may cost more, but comfort and styling are a lot more abundant than in a muscle car. The 300+ hp twin turbo I6 keeps up with them, too.
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[User Picture]From: deus_x
2002-06-06 10:44 am (UTC)
... a Red Barchetta?
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2002-06-06 11:10 am (UTC)
No progressive rock in my journal!
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[User Picture]From: hannunvaakuna
2002-06-06 12:04 pm (UTC)

baby you're much too fast

little red barchett(a)?
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[User Picture]From: recovry
2002-06-06 06:39 pm (UTC)

pwease? fo da chiwdwen?
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[User Picture]From: vinyldolly
2002-06-06 01:39 pm (UTC)
Aliens!!!
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[User Picture]From: arcsine
2002-06-06 01:47 pm (UTC)
I swear it's that gremlin from the bugs bunny cartoon.
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[User Picture]From: nephilimnexus
2002-06-06 09:36 pm (UTC)
I had that exact same problem before.

It was caused by a loose battery cable. In order to keep from overloading when the battery disconnected, as a safety mechanism the whole care just shuts off. Weird. But useful, I guess.
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