Monthly Archives: December 2009


Are you ready to see the sort of shit that makes me wanna set something on fire?

C:Windowssystem32>ping harley
Ping request could not find host harley. Please check the name and try again.

C:Windowssystem32>ipconfig /flushdns
Windows IP Configuration

Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.

C:Windowssystem32>nslookup harley
Server:  DD-WRT

Name:    harley

C:Windowssystem32>ping harley
Ping request could not find host harley. Please check the name and try again.



Things with the Troika are slow going. Why, you ask? Well, allow me to tell you.

Everything that everyone says about the J13 Datsun Engine is a dirty fucking lie.

No, the intake and exhaust manifolds don’t interchange with the MG Midget. No, they don’t interchange with the MGB. Do they interchange with the MGA? I don’t fucking know because I’m not throwing any more money down this particular bit of forum-lie.

No, the transmission bellhousing pattern does not match the L-series engines. Nor does it match the bellhousing pattern on the MG engines (the MG engine bit is quite frequently repeated and while I’m no MG expert, I haven’t seen a fucking BIT of truth to it other than it shares the poorly designed single-sided head – but none of the common valvetrain internals – with centerline-of-port-shared-post manifold mounting.) As best I can figure, someone once said “These engines were built by Nissan based on licensing the MG design but with all their own parts and measurements” and then the internet version of “playing telephone” happened and it became “The engine is a clone of the MG engine”.

And lets talk about that manifold some more, while I’m good and angry. First off, it appears to be impossible to take off the carburetor without removing the intake manifold. Secondly, it appears to be impossible to take off the intake manifold without removing the exhaust manifold. Thirdly, it seems to be impossible to replace just the intake manifold without also going to exhaust headers (they aren’t exactly cast in one piece, but it looks like there’s an open “heater plenum” in the central runner that just connects to a pad on the bottom of the intake), and finally, and most disconcertingly, it seems to be impossible to take off the exhaust manifold period. There are bolts which could only be successfully removed if you had a scimitar-length ratcheting box end wrench. Half of the manifold bolts are bolts, the other half are studs. They all use oddball 5mm thick concave washers. The first bolt back from the front of the engine appears to thread into an OIL PASSAGE. Note I said bolt, not stud, so it’s not like I can put any yamabond on there and make it oiltight. Every single thing I’ve read about the J13 is either about how it’s impossible to find parts for it, or it’s a thread asking what the best engine to simply fucking replace it with is. It’s like all of the fun of working on a british car but without the enthusiastic support group.

Another interesting bit is I found out that while the 520 and 521 look very similar and are only separated by one year (again, this fact is possibly based on internet lies, the earliest 521’s HAD J13 engines), and they share suspension design, components, interiors, and many other things, the 521 has FIVE EXTRA INCHES of radiator-support-to-firewall space. This, of course, means that all of the common engine swaps are more difficult and almost all involve cutting the firewall.

This isn’t really a big problem, since I’m not really looking to do a super-common swap into it (L20B? I mean, I’m going to have to fab up new mounts for the engine and tranny anyways, I’m not gonna do all that and only get 15hp out of it), but it does mean that I’m gonna be abandoning the J13 sooner than I had hoped and doing more work to get any engine installed. That’s not necessarily a bad thing from a fangle and fun standpoint but it means more money and time.

I have a couple other interesting ideas going right now too. For example… did you know that the Datsun 280zx has almost exactly the same track width as the truck (it’s actually about an inch wider but that just means more clearance on the frame rail)? And it’s got a fancy IRS with lots of available lockers and geegaws. I mean, a triangulated four link and a Ford Motorsport 9″ is pretty trick, but IRS… I think it’s pretty doable. Plus it’d keep the pinion angle exactly and I wouldn’t have to worry about nasty resonance in a solid driveshaft (the stock shaft is a two-piece unit with a cradle just ahead of the bed). I could just find a 280zx donor, whack out the rear subframe, then do some cut and paste on the rear frame rails… Fancy diff, better handling, coilovers? Kind of a good proposition. Especially since rust-eaten 280zx’s are not exactly rare. (I briefly considered the second gen 300zx just because then I could justify the whole vg30de thing, but the track is like ten inches too wide and the R200 diff is bigger, heavier, and less common).

I’m still pretty excited about the Duratec/q4r/T5 combo for the powertrain. I keep finding VG30DEs (and less commonly, VG30Es, which would actually be easier to fit) for dirt cheap and they make 220hp stock, but that would involve all manner of crazy shit. I’d have to install a u-jointed steering column, the firewall would have to be cut and moved back maybe six inches (not easy with a standard cab, which is just barely big enough for me to drive anyways). Not to mention that getting the exhaust to go around the torsion bars would be a trick (still looking into solutions for the front end suspension – there’s a Ratsun guy who makes a weld-in kit to convert to QA1 coilovers but why would I go to that trouble and keep the kingpin front suspension?). There’s a dude who welded in a whole Miata k-member, which is an interesting idea. I’m not sure what else out there has the right track width (other than the aforementioned 280zx, which is still on the table). There’s also the “just cut off front frame rails, weld in a toyota front clip and reinforce” minitrucker route which is kind of a cop out I think.

Other than all the trouble I’ve had trying to get this stupid J13 into driveable shape, the truck is still very fun for me. I go out and wrench on it for half an hour and come back in with a head full of ideas and a smile on my face. Hell, even the problems are fun.

Last Rites

So*, I decided to do some organization of my twitter herd because I am having some work/life/twitter balance issues lately. But rather than rant blasphemously about how my endless, navel-gazing white man problems never cease, I decided to just do something about it. But in this mundane cleaning chore which should be scriptable, I’ve found… The Last Tweet guessing game.

@graphikwork: 44 miles from B’ham. 3064 miles from Alaska.

What ever happened? Is this like the fucking Donner Party or some shit? I mean… this was six months ago. You shoulda made it by now. Unless you were part of a cattle drive or something. But even then, six months? Somewhere in there you coulda texted. I imagine this person in their shitty, twelve year old Ford Escort. Tweeting about their (pretty hair-brained) transcontinental journey. They’ve stopped for a quick taco in that place they know. And just as they pull out of the parking lot, WHAM double-loaded semi smears them across the pavement.

@p1x3lated: I want google wave. Plz halpz!!

This person, quite clearly, got their Wave account and is now there, completely happy with the way Wave helps her connect with society. They are the ONLY person who feels this way about Google Wave.

@epicexperiences: Just got done climbing a route on beacon rock, it was pretty choice. The views were phenomenal.

Obviously the climbing went fine but I guess maybe the descending didn’t.

@EvilNeen: If @unanything’s head gets any bigger, we’ll have to cut him out of the apartment.

Oh, it got bigger all right. @EvilNeen’s home planet was destroyed with @ouranything’s head went gas giant and simply blocked out the sun.

@shejohns: showing emily how to use twitter

Ext: A high school library.
It is dark, the only direct light comes from THE WINDOW. Two girls are standing over a table piled with papers, composition books, complicated looking schedules. They are looking down at what we find to be a
INT: High School Library.
small glowing screen. We zoom in to find a laptop with Tweetdeck loaded full screen.
A message has just finished sending.

pull back on two high school aged girls in school uniforms. They are side by side.
@shejohns: “And that’s basically all you do. You just put in your message and hit enter or the little send button. Any… any questions?”
Emily: “Well, I’m not really clear on the searches yet and is there a way to autofollow…”
@shejohns: “Noooo, no autofollow, that’s not really a good idea. And the searches there’s a great readme on my site that one of the forum admins wrote.”
Emily: “And you gave me the email list for the forum admins right?”
@shejohns: “YUP, You’re now officially the VP of this Fan Club!”

@shejohns hugs Emily excitedly, but Emily is strangely unresponsive, staring at the computer screen.
When @shejohns turns back to the screen to finish up some business, we bring up the music and zoom to Emily’s face, her face suddenly stony and inhuman.
From screen left, her right arm lashes out, holding a wooden-based lamp, bludgeoning @shejohns as she falls to the floor, obviously dead.
We close up on Emily’s face, splattered with blood, as she begins to wrap the body in plastic bags and anxiously daub blood from the books on the table, scanning along and stuffing documents into her backpack, she hits a plastic binder with a picture onthe front and she’s suddenly wet-eyed.

Emily: “For you, Raul. Always for you.”

And we follow the picture as she puts it into her purse, and as it dips into the dark pouch, we catch a glimpse of the cool wall eyed stare of Raul Julia, in a black and white head shot.

*So I decided I was gonna clear all twitter followers who I don’t know personally who haven’t tweeted in a month. Sorry folks, that’s just how I do. If you come back later and decide you want me to follow you again you will simply have to re-apply. So I go to FriendorFollow, use the otherwise-basically-worthless “Friends” tab, and sort by “date of last tweet”. And now I have a giant pile with the bottom rows representing “private” accounts which FriendorFollows search whatzis does not errorhandle, and then, mixed in, the abandoned accounts of the now-ex-Twitterers. It felt good to get rid of some dead wood and organize some of my shit in lists. Are you paying attention Twitter? Those two things are great. That new RT? That sucks balls. This concludes the technical portion of the show.