Ramblings about happenings in my life.


Stuff Every Guy Needs To Have


Every man should own at least a basic set of tools. I probably take owning tools to the extreme, but I am never more frustrated than when I am trying to work on a project or my car at home and I don’t have access to my tools. I am sure not everyone cares to be so mechanically inclined. But don’t be the annoying guy that has to constantly borrow tools. (that means don’t ask me to borrow mine)

Sears is pretty affordable. But if you have to have the best, buy Snapon.  Thank you Ken Takahashi for fueling my addiction for tools.


Idle time

I was watching my buddy working for a day and a half making this bracket.  When he asked me what I thought, I told him “you have too much time on your hands.”  He laughed.  Must be nice to not have to build a new car in the off season.

That old feeling

Its no secret that I have been pretty jaded when it comes to cars in the last couple of years.  Dumbass customers, whack margins, shitty trends have all but killed my love for something that I used to be so passionate about.  If it wasn’t for finding new things to learn about and friends dragging me back in, I would probably not do anything with cars and be a bit happier.  But every once in a while you find something to rev your engine back up. (no pun intended)  Seeing this thing on the dyno and riding around in them has done that. You turn up the boost and it makes more power.  Amazing! Lets see how long this lasts for…

Milling around

Our first attempt at setting the cam timing in on my motor ended up being a exercise in futility as every time we tried to set the dial indicator, the needle would walk.  After about an hour of frustration, Naoto suggested that we figure out a valve angle for the head and make a tool.  Honestly, I couldn’t really conceptualize what the hell he was talking about, but I just did what he asked me and called Japan for the data.

Since the guys over at Apexi have been nice enough to let me use their facility, I took advantage and helped myself to using the mill as well(well to be accurate, Naoto used the mill and I just helped him by cutting stuff).  After a couple hours of measuring and cutting, we came up this tool.  I moves in any position and keeps the shaft of the dial indicator in line with the retainer.  This way we can maintain the proper angle and keep the end of the shaft from walking as the valve travels up and down.

Metal arts and crafts is getting funner and funner! Hmmm, maybe I should make that splitter for the Civic…


So what started as supposed to be a head gasket swap and cam install turned into a complete tear down when I inspected my bearings.  From looking at it, besides having a bit of oil starvation, something had come out of the crank and marred my bearings up. The only conclusion that I could really come to was that there must have been debris lodged inside the crank galley and decided to come out to say hello to my bearings once it filled with oil.  I never really took the time to have the plugs removed on the crank. I guess I’ll never make that mistake again.

This time around, I decided to take the crank to dudes that only do cranks.  Right next to Triumvir’s office, there is a shop called Marine Crank.  I have always heard about them in engine building circles, but never really took the time to look into them. But I figured, hell if all they do is cranks, they got to be pretty damn good at it.  So I asked them that the best route was.  They sent me away to a place called Jerry’s broken drill and tap removal.  I had been to this place before about 10 years ago, but just to have time serts installed in a head.  Apparently the steel balls that seal up the crank is super hard to get out and they have a special machine that burns them out.  The machine is pretty cool looking and they do a super good job to not damage the crank, so don’t be surprised when you get the bill. (honestly, I was a bit shook when I got the bill, but its kind of worth it)

I took the crank back over to Marine and they worked their magic on it.  I had the oil holes chamfered, the journals micro polished and the galleys tapped. Total bill, around $200.  But after I give it a good cleaning, I can at least be relieved that I won’t have shit spitting out of the crank onto my bearings.  I recommend this for anyone that has had their crank out and polished.

Pump, pump the jam.

This is one of the worst oil pump designs ever.  The only reason I say that is because it wouldn’t register any oil pressure after a rebuild; even after cranking for 10-15 minutes.  If you look carefully, the oil from the pickup has to fill the circled chamber before it actually hits the pump and can transfer pressure.  So under low rpm, it will never have enough vacuum to pull the oil through.  That might be alright when you have a freshly built motor with tons of assembly lube.  But what do you do when you have stored the engine for months and all the oil has settled? Piece of shit.

Arts and craps

Alright, alright. Its been a really long time since I have posted anything up. I know I have been lagging. But for a while there all I was really doing was going to school and training. Basically the same thing over and over again. But then I figured out that the bearings in my motor where all toast and I had to get ready for the final FD event of the year(more on those things later). Things got real hectic.

While all this was going on, I found the time to work on one of my side projects.  A while back, I got a catch can from Greddy.  Its a really nice looking piece: extruded aluminum case  and pressed aluminum caps.  But it was literally just a can.  I knew for it to be really efficient, I had to add some internal baffling.  But how to go about doing it.  After thinking about it and bullshiting about it, I finally just went to work on it.

I ended cutting the top off with a cold saw, trying to make it straight as possible.  I then took 2 sheets of aluminum and cut them to size to make a V.  Each sheet was drilled to allow air to pass through them but still strain out the oil.  Positioning them in a V to create a dual chamber effect within the can.  In retrospect, I probably should have just used a single  sheet and just made a single bend on the brake.  But I guess you always come up with things to do.  I then made 1 bung for a drainage and added a spout for a filter on the top.  Hopefully this will take care of my blow by entering in the cylinder.

The reasoning behind the title is that a lot of girls post up that they are into Arts and Crafts.  I like to think of this as functional arts and crafts with metal.