Archive for April, 2009

wiring continues

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Tonight I got the locks wired up, the trunk trigger, and the trunk release.  It’s an incredible pain to route wires through the door duct to get to the driver’s door module (which controls the windows, locks, and trunk release), but it’s done now.

Well, it *would* be done now, but the “second unlock” feature on this alarm doesn’t work as I expected.  I thought it’d allow a delayed unlock of teh remaning doors, with driver’s lock priority – but it’s really just another lock output. :)  So, the wiring I did with the extra relay and stuff was not required – I just need to set it to unlock all of the doors at once.

I guess that isn’t really a big deal, since I can’t think of a time when I really only want to unlock the driver’s door.  If there are that many scary people around that I’m concerned someone may get in with me, I just won’t get into my car at all. :)  Or maybe I’ll assign an auxilary output to unlocking the other doors.  I haven’t decided yet.

more wiring

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Tonight, I broke out the Crafstman soldering gun – which rocks – and did some more wiring on the remote start + alarm.  I didn’t get much more done, though I did get 4 more relays set up and almost all of the crimp connectors I had used for mock-up ripped out and replaced with solderd joints which are either heat-shrunk or taped off.  So, at least the joints should all be more reliable for the long-term.  Now if I an just find the remaning wires to pick up – there may be a factory service manual in my future….

Remote start + alarm

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So, I picked up a Clifford 50.7x a month or so back (I think I recently mentioned that), and I’m finally getting around to installing it.  The main power wires and door monitor are hooked up, but I still need to do the door locks, defroster, trunk release, horn + siren, and hood + trunk monitors.  And figure out what I’m gonna do with the three remaining channels (I’m thinking seat heaters, all windows up, and maybe all windows down). Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the system.  There’s a lot of flexibility, and the LCD feedback remote is top-notch.

I also found that the $16 soldering gun at O’Reilly Auto sucks.  It burned up in my hand the first time I used it – all the magic smoke came out at once, and it never did get hot enough to melt solder.  The Craftsman super-mega gun, however, can heat up two 10 gauge wires within a few seconds.  That’s neat. :)

WordPress support

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So, I’m still trying to figure out how to get the plugin installer for WordPress to actually list some plugins (currently, it only shows “A” and no plugins).  I probably have the filesystem permissions locked down too tightly, but it’s just annoying that nothing prints a debug message or anything.  I’ve got a post on the support forums at looking for an answer, but I’m not holding my breath…  Help would be appreciated. :)

More performance

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So,  I’ve gotten some more done on the Grand Marquis.  The exhaust is “finished”.  It’s not really done, since I think it still needs an electric cutout – but I do have the cutout Y installed.  It looks pretty good, overall.  I’ll post up some pictures shortly.  After driving with it on for a week, I’m happy.  It’s quiet in the car at cruise speeds, and reasonably loud when you step on it.  The cutout will satisfy the need for serious noise eventually…  I’m also getting a little better than 27MPG with the cruise set on 63 MPH.  That’s not too bad for a full-sized car with a V8.

Also new this week is the tuner.  I got a good deal on a SCT Livewire (about 50% of the full price), which is a customizable tuner and real-time data logger.  So, I can do the boy racer “big thing stuck on the dash” as necessary.  The cool thing is that the transmission behaves better now.  The car winds up to a touch over 6 grand before shifting now (which sounds awesome, in context) and shifts down when I step on it.  Man, the downshifts annoyed me before.  The upshift points at part-throttle are a little annoying, though.  the car wants to stay in first too long.  It’d be good with lower gears – say something like a 3.55 or 3.73 – but the 2.5x or whatever are in there just don’t like this setup.  Since the programmer just scales a performance tune to whatever tire+gear combo I have and Im a fair distance from performance gears, this is understandable.

To fix the upshifts, we’re looking at either a custome tune (which can be loaded to the livewire) or lower gears.  It’d probably cost about the same to get a complete rear from a P71 (cop car) as it would to get a driveability tune and the gears will be more fun.  I’m not sure if they’ll be fun enough to trade off the mileage, though.  Have to do some research on how gears impact the mileage.  I know that the 3.42s in my Wagon were indistinguishable from the stock 2.56s, so maybe I’m worried about nothing…

The Clifford 50.7x remote start / alarm is next.  Hopefully within a week or so.  And I should really stop neglecting the Chevelle, since Beth‘s tailbone is healing and she’ll probably want to start driving her car again someday soon…