Finally, my car is off the jacks. There are actually indents in my driveway from the three weeks it was up on the stands. Placeholder for picture of driveway

Placeholder for video of car lowering

I can’t wait to do absolutely nothing with it for the next two weeks. Nearly every waking moment the past week has been spent going mad worrying about getting the car finished before having to extend my Enterprise car rental. Driving a Nissan Versa note for a week really let me know how much I’d miss my car.

There’s a minor repair I have to do because I installed the new Stabilizer bar links incorrectly. I didn’t install the second rubber boot because it didn’t quite fit. However, I talked to the manufacturer, and I just need to flip them both around. I had the little rubber things upside-down. They are meant for the smaller diameter part to be facing eachother and touching the control arm.

stabilizer bar pic

Lots of fun in the coming months, but definitely looking forward to the break from the panic induced by having to have my car finished.

Well, here I am again. Waiting on more parts. I was working last night further on my car, and found a rather annoying feature on my extremely rusty steering knuckles. The strut sleeve is welded in place and not removable without excessive force.

I applied excessive force and mangled the existing sleeves.

The knuckles were removed due to completely shot front struts, a suspected bad passenger axle bearing, and a broken bolt inside the passenger wheel hub.

I got both hubs off, the bearings out, compressed one of the springs, pulled off the strutmount/bearing and found my little gift. By design, the struts are not removable. I spent about two hours hammering, chiseling, and praying attempting to get this stupid sleeve off. No luck.

Unfortunately this means that I will be yet another week without a working vehicle until the new parts get here. But oh look, the $35 subframe bolt gets here today. So I can finish replacing the passenger control arm. Because the current bolt stripped and is recessed, I ended up using my angle grinder to cut the old control arm in half at the bolt to get it off the car.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately about who I am, what I want to be, and who I will be. As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted the nuclear family. Good job, loving wife, 2.5 kids, cat, dog, house, car. Something that I haven’t considered, is where this total view came from.

I know that having children is critical. If only, to pass along all that I have learned. I want to be this great teacher, but am continually frustrated by those that ask to learn from me. What makes me think that my own children would be any more adaptive to learning than the average man? I want to give all that I have accumulated and all that I learned to my prodigies. Aren’t I a bit young for that? I am only 25 years on this earth, but I regularly feel that I have lived a full life already. All that lay before me is downwards, less, or tedious.

I have so much, yet why is there the absence of happiness? I think I don’t have a real goal. I am simply biding my time. There are sporadic distractions that allow me to utilize my mental faculties, but many things I find to be a great bore. Some things, I am able to latch on to. But I find, recently in particular, to be asking myself why I am doing things much more.

How queer that I spent the first 16 years of my life questioning everything and everyone. I pushed my poor mother to the verge of madness with my inquisition. Yet, for years 17 to 24, I simply moved with a sense of purpose. Assuming that every action I took was instinctive and correct. I still find that nearly all of my decisions and actions are instinctive. A post for another time is how I do not have an internal monologue.

These past few days where I have been waiting for car parts to restore my Saab to working order, have caused me to challenge what I am doing. I subsequently have been questioning who I am and what I want. No topic is off the table. Am I truly in love? What is the point of going to work today? This is far from depression. More like a quarter-life crisis. I have vitality and the abilities to go anywhere, and do anything. Why do I do what I do now?

I Just Do Things.

Yes, that makes sense. But what if I want to do things with more direction? How do I begin to do something so foreign to me as organize my thoughts, dreams and goals? Do I actually have any goals? For now, I’ll just do things, but I will attempt to spin my wheels less.

cover-image

People who know me, understand that I tend to get obsessed with new hobbies. The most recent of which, has been working on my Saab 2002 9-3 hatchback.

This is my first car with a turbo. My first car that I feel like goes vroom. Out of the factory it gets 205bhp. With a stage1 tune, new air filter, and no mods, it gets 260bhp.

Being a 14 year old car as of this posting, it has its fair share of problems. I mostly lucked out. This car was purchased in Baltimore for $1000 and with a nearly complete service history. It’s only had two owners and has less than 140,000 miles on it.

The first owner, was the DoD. There’s a sticker right on the front of the windshield. Inside the Carfax, there is evidence of the rigorous maintenance performed for the first 12 years of this cars’ life. Every 6 months it was taken to a Saab dealer for scheduled maintenance. It never failed a single emissions test or reported a leak prone to so many Saabs.

I make a Vwooooosh sound every time I open mine.

In March of 2014, it was purchased by a 55 year old north-east Baltimore woman from an auction. That was the last notice of maintenance on the Carfax. It failed the past two years of emissions tests in Baltimore. There are numerable scratches and dents across the car. The cup holder is broken.

Most people wouldn’t note this as a major downside but Saab cupholders are a thing to behold and they don’t do well with American sized drinks. I like to think of any of the damage to the car as attributed to the second owner.

Bought in Baltimore

I bought the car from this woman’s nephew who was keeping it on his business lot for her and posting it to craigslist. It had been sitting for 6 months, rusted rotors, dead battery, door was stuck.

A quick trip to AutoZone for a new battery, and to the gas station for half a tank of 93 octane instead of the low-end fuel the second owner used was just what the Doctor ordered. I was able to drive 100 miles back to my home in Pennsylvania with only minor clunks and rattles.

The list of work I have done to it so far, is quite extensive.

It was at this time, I decided to name the car Börk.

What’s next?

All that having been accomplished, and the car is not currently drivable. The front wheels had started wobbling around turns. I took a weekend and found a cascading series of problems the front suspension assembly. It has turned in to a two month project fueled by stubborn determination.

I can say for sure, when I get the car driving again, I still won’t be done with it. When I regain confidence in the car, I’ll start replacing bigger things. New intercooler, new turbo, engine tuning.

I still swear I am not a car guy, I am a jet guy.

What’s done

  • Inspect Brake pads
    • Calipers are less than ideally responsive. Preferred upgrade to aftermarket rotors, pads, and calipers. 3/27 </ul>
    • Inspect Brake rotors 3/26
    • Inspect/adjust Parking brake - done 3/26
    • Inspect Battery -Done 3/26
    • Check the engine firewall. 3/28
    • Check fluid level Brake master cylinder 3/30
    • Check fluid level Windshield washer 3/30
    • Inspect Exhaust system 3/26
    • Inspect Seat belts 3/26
    • Inspect Automatic transmission fluid 3/27
    • Replace Cabin air filter - Done recently by technicians
    • Perform Road test 3/26
    • Inspect Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) - How would I even check this?? 3/28
    • Check backup lights 3/29
    • Check the car doesn’t move forward or backward while parking brake is engaged. 3/29
    • Headlights & fog lights
      • Driver side brake light stuck on. (flicked it, all better!) 3/30
      • Replaced Headlight relay, high-beams work now 4/10 </ul>
      • Inspect Coolant 3/31
      • Get AM/FM bluetooth transmitter to fill cigarette plug. 3/31
      • Properly affix the tag to the car. - Currently Ziptied
        • (nothing wrong with zipties), keeping this fix.
      • Check Wiper/fluid 3/30 - (need to unclog passenger side, but passable)
      • Change Airfilter 3/31
      • Replace Sparkplugs 3/31 - Manual says 0.95mm, internet says 1mm gap, take pictures.
      • Install new oil cap 3/31
      • Adjust Headlights & fog lights 3/31
      • Clean A/C drain hose. Condensation drains. - Drips as normally expected.
      • Check License Plate Lamp
      • Inspect/rotate Wheels & tires 4/6
        • Tires inspected, are crap. Added to the “desires” list.
        • Tested by driving relatively hard on them.
          • Driver side high beam bulb out. -replaced Relay 4/11
          • Inspect Brake lines, hoses & connections 4/11
          • SID buttons are sticky. - Through use, slowly becoming unstuck. 4/12
          • Replace Oil filter 4/22
          • Plug is round. Need to get it off.
          • Change Engine oil 4L 4/22
          • PCV valve 4/22
          • Zipties holding the muffler on to the car, replace with metal zipties. 5/14/2016
          • Plastic ones are holding on just fine.
          • Inspect Steering operation, tie rod ends, steering gearbox & boots 5/19, needs repair
          • Replace Shocks. 5/31
          • New Rotors and brakes. 100% complete 5/31
          • 5/14/2016 Front rotors and brakes done. Rear, coming up.
          • Replace Ball joints tie-rod ends 6/10
          • Replace Control Arms/bushings 6/10 </ul> </div>

What I Like


As I continue to update the blog, I will try to come back to this post and update each category with at least a few entries. Otherwise, just use this as a vague list of what to expect out of this blog. No promises.

The text version of this list was generated using coggle.it.. Coggle.it offers a free mind-map service with just a simple Google account login. They have a paid version where they paywall many features like auto-organize or changing color. If you can live without, it is one of the prettier mind-mappers out there. Click here for more information on mind-mapping. Basically, it’s a way to quickly enumerate and cluster related objects. This is only useful if your brain already works in a sort-of hierarchical fashion.

Learning

  • Maths
    • Multi Dimensional Theory
    • Theory
    • Algebra
    • Physics
    • Calculus
    • Geometry
  • Space
    • Planets
    • Environments
    • Orbits
    • Technology
    • Flight
    • Long-distance travel
  • Human function
    • Immune system
    • Biological
    • Mental
    • language
    • Neural mapping
    • memory
    • disease
    • dysfunction
    • sociopathy/psychopathy
    • Behavioral
    • Multicultural
  • Animal
    • Behaviors
    • Biology
    • Existence
  • Mechanical Engineering
    • structure
    • Material properties
    • Gears
    • Clocks
  • rare facts
    • Historical fallacy
    • Quotable party jokes
    • Nearly anything interesting.

Technology

  • Vehicles
  • Robots
  • Computers
    • Hacking
    • Communications
    • Linux
    • Simulations
    • Games-tree
    • Software Dev
    • Applications
    • Web design
      • multiplex
      • ISS
      • php
      • html
      • Javascript
      • css
      • java
      • apache
      • Hosting
    • Code
    • Shortcuts
    • glue code
    • automation
    • UI/UX
    • Optimization
    • Anything new
    • Blogging
  • Gadgets
  • Quality of life increase
    • Bionics
    • Smart watch
    • prosthetics
    • organ replacements
    • Automation

Stories

  • Jokes
    • family
    • Dark
    • light
    • humor in everything
  • Movies
    • Underdog
    • Coming of age
    • Adventure
    • Action
    • Sci-Fi
    • comedy
    • Drama
    • Horror
    • Documentary
    • Animation
  • Books
    • Sci-Fi
    • Biography
    • Fantasy

      Creation

  • Upcycling
    • Bottles/cans
  • Crafts
    • Origami/paper craft
    • Love notes
  • Woodworking
    • mechanical
    • Beautiful
    • Functional
  • 3D printing
    • prosthetics
    • upgrades to life.
    • teaching
    • design
    • Gadgets
    • printer upgrades
    • beautiful
    • hacking
    • gifts
    • Functional
  • Hacking
    • Phones
    • Toys
    • Machines
    • anything

      Games

  • Simulation
    • Physics
    • Space
    • Life
  • Platformers
  • Competitive
  • First person shooters
  • Puzzles
    • Japanese puzzles
    • Rubik’s cubes and other twisty puzzles.
    • Wood puzzles
    • Jigsaw
  • Skill-based
  • Story Driven
  • Virtual reality