Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fanning the flames of progress

Sorry I haven't posted much in a while. Honestly, there hasn't been much to post about. I have a small update on the defrost efforts, and a new revelation about the inter cooler. Last, I took my son T up to Mt. Hood Meadows for a day of snowboarding - total Fall highlight.

Fan Fun
I have the rear heater unit in-place, the switch in-place and the wiring run. After spending a few hours trying to figure out which wire should be connected to which male plug on the heater unit, I found this thread on TheSamba ( With the picture, and some logic, it totally makes sense. I made the wiring corrections, but... the resistor doesn't work anymore. Fun stuff. I got the highly-maligned symptom of the fan only blowing on the "middle" setting, which, it turns out, means the resistor is bad. So, now comes the question: do I replace the resistor with a stock replacement, or go new-style? "what's this new-style," you ask. You install a true-rheostat concept like this. For the stock-lovers out there, I've already pissed you off with this whole project, but bear with me for a sec. The true-rheostat solution is $60 where the stock solution is around $35, assuming you can find it. I haven't had any luck finding a stock resistor, but I'll be leaving the fan in this on-off configuration for now. I have a defroster, and that's all that matters at this point.

Inter not-cooling
I am unable to place the stock inter cooler within the space I have after the heater is in. I'm looking for a Saab Blackstone inter cooler instead. Why? They take up a little less space, but are reportedly more efficient. Also, the inlet and outlet are both on the same end, improving the placement choices. Assuming I find one, and have it in-hand relatively soon, I'll cover that install. I know I will need more silicone tubing, so the install will take 2 delivery cycles - one for the inter cooler, and one for the tubes. net-net, I won't be test-driving over Christmas.

Snow good to see ya
Last Sunday, my some T and I drove up to Mt Hood Meadows for some snowboarding. I've gone sliding a couple of times, but I haven't really had good conditions before. Mt. Hood had received fresh snow the night before, and we had some flurries while we were there. The result? Groomed powder runs, and some great sliding. Our first ride on the lift was just after 9:AM, and after 7-8 runs, we called it a day around 2:30. I'll upload pictures later.

With the heater troubles and the ridiculous darkness this time of year, my motivation has slipped. Its been a couple months since I heard the engine run, and that doesn't help. I'm trying to re-motivate, and get the inter cooler resolved. Once that's in, I can test-start the engine again, focus on finishing out the little bits, and take a test drive. I won't feel close to finished again until I hear that engine run again. Sigh.

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