Archive for May, 2009

Exhaust cutout installed

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Yesterday, UPS delivered my order from Summit Racing.  It included header and collector gaskets from Earl’s (the Pressure Master line) for the Chevelle – which will be discussed in a future post.  The other main thing in the box was a shiny new electric exhaust cutout.  So, I went out and wired up the cutout as soon as I was done with supper.  It took about three hours in total to hook the valve up (I had already included a cutout in the exhaust when I built it) and run the wire into the car.  The hardest part was running the wire, honestly – it’s a pain to route wires from the exhaust all the way around from the passenger side, up along the firewall, and back into the passenger compartment.

I’m honestly not real excited about the switch it came with.  It’s nice that it’s lighted, but I’m pretty sure it’s really just a cheap power window kit switch with an even cheaper sticker over the top.  I’ll  be using a different switch when I do the final install.  Not only because the switch that came with the cutout is huge (over an inch by about a half inch), but also because I also need to put the remote start disable switch somewhere as well, so it’d be nice if they matched.  Off to the nearest Digikey catalog for me, I guess.

Anyway, the electric cutout is probaby the most fun thing I’ve done to a car in a while.  It’s great – it takes about 5-10 seconds to get to full open, but the noise level goes up almost instantly.  So, I can open it up, nail the gas, make a lot of noice, and then close it back up quickly.  The Grand Marquis isn’t really quit with the 3″ Magnaflow Ultraflow installed, but a 3″ straight pipe is significantly louder.  I’m particularly happy that it doesn’t sound like total garbage either way, though.  It’s a good loud, and a good “even louder” sound.  The 2 valve 4.6 doesn’t sound the same as the 3- or 4-valve versions, but it’s pretty similar.

I’ll get some video soon and post it up here – or, more likely, post it on You Tube and link to it.  I have to use the real camera, though – the mic on my phone is just no good for exhaust sounds.  Here’s an example of that:

Grand Marquis through first gear, on cell phone

remote start almost done

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So, over the weekend (last weekend) a friend came by and helped me install the rest of the remote starter.  Not that I needed help, but help’s generally appreciated.  Anyway, it’s all wired up and almost all works.  “Almost” because the Ford security key thingie (Securilock? PATS?  Whatever) bypass module I got doesn’t appear to work.  It lights up, but it never programs as a new key like it’s supposed to do.  So, I’ve got an appointment at the local Ziebart on Wed to talk to their installer about it.  I’m quite confident that it’s wired up correctly, so I’m hoping it’s just a matter of trading out this one for another one – but I figure it’s worth talking to someone who’s installed more than two remote start systems to see if there’s some undocumented trick that I messed up.  On a positive note, everything else works fine.  The lock and unlock works, and remote start takeover (car’s running, push the button to have remote take over so I can remove the key and lock the doors while leaving the car running) is working.  The alarm all works properly, too and the impact sensitivity sensor is dull enough to not be set off by passing Harleys and similar. :)

So, tonight I started on the remote start for the Wagon, which needs that to bypass the broken key switch.  I’ll write more about that later, though…

first ride of the season: done

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Well, it rained today, but I rode in to work anyway.  I was getting tired of waiting. :)  The scooter handles reasonably well in the rain (it’s wind that’s not much fun – and that’s true rain or not).  My rain gear also works well (Joe Rocket stuff; though I don’t have a link), and I’m confident it would do well even without the fairing that’s integral to the bike.

However, my summer gloves are no fun in the rain.  The leather soaked through, and it was in the lower 50’s today, so my fingers were cold once I finished the roughly 20 mile ride in.  At about 65 MPH for most of the way.  I didn’t switch to my winter gloves, since they’re just too bulky (though they do have a nice rain-proof pull-over mitten cover thingie).  One of the trips tomorrow will hopefully be to tyhe local Motorcycle shops to see about finding some between-winter-and-summer gloves.  I’ll start at Sportland (the metric bike shop) and then probably go next door to the Harley dealership.

I don’t usually like Harley riding gear, since it’s often more about form than function.  This is largely from just visual inspection, though I do have first-hand experience with their cold-weather gloves.  All of them that I’ve tried absolutely suck in truly cold weather; my poor frozen fingers and I got sick of returning them after the second attempt, andI ran through al of the options the local dealer had (which were quite a few – including the ones which were reviewed as being Harley’s “best”).  They probably do have a decent mid-weight glove, though, and they do a pretty good job of getting the “looks cool” part right.  :)  The cold weather gloves they had probably just sucked because a big portion of the Harley crowd just like to look cool when it’s warm out; it’s not so much about riding.  And the hard-core guys must just already have warm gloves. ;)

Or maybe I should just get the miniature hand grip fairings and some heated handgrips, and forget about needing so many kinds of gloves…

Two wheel’n soon

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I’ve finally changed the oil and filter on the Burgman, and verified the tire pressure + overall appearance.  It all looked good, and handled properly on a short 60 MPH run down the highway.  I warmed it up before draining the oil, which actually made it drain out a lot better.  I’ll have to start doing that more often.

Anyway, the Royal Purple 10w40 Motorcycle oil is in, so hopefully the weather will allow me to ride tomrrow afternoon.  Oh, and the remote start in the Grand Marquis is *almost* done… :)