|Monday, November 13, 2006|
by brian @ 20:17:34 - [perma-link]
How excited do you think I was to turn the corner at Target and see a HUGE R/C car. "Dodge Charger", it says. "No way!" I imagine as I step closer. I see "Retro Muscle" and let out a muffled "HFS! It is!...but it looks weird.."
How is a friggin 2006 model year car "Retro"???
Stil denied on a really big R/C '69 Charger...
|Friday, March 24, 2006|
by brian @ 19:23:00 - [perma-link]
Josh and I spent a couple of evening pulling parts off the Charger's motor. Pretty much everything is off now, evcept the driver's side head and the rotating assembly.
Most of what is off isn't going back on. Lots of new aluminum parts and electric pumps instead of the mechanical. Lighter, stronger, faster!
|Sunday, February 5, 2006|
by brian @ 22:20:34 - [perma-link]
On Friday I picked up my new Demon carburetor from FBO Systems in Beavertion. Josh and I pulled an all-nighter installing it in my Charger. We wanted to get it done in time for "Dodge Dyno Day" at Fast Specialties (and we did, barely). Things never go as smoothly as anticipated.
Turns out the old intake manifold (the 35lb orange thing in the second pic) has the wrong bolt and hole pattern, so it had to be replaced as well. The new one is an Edelbrock Performer. It weighs 14 lbs (big savings!) and is made of aluminum. In all, the car has a new gas pedal, driver's seat, throttle and kickdown cables, throttle bracket, K&N air filter, carb and intake.
With no sleep, we drove it up to Fast Specialties, in Vancouver, WA, yesterday afternoon, arriving just in time for the guys to tell us they were packing up to go home. After we told them what we went through getting all the parts on the car, Travis (the tuning genius) said, "well lets throw it on and see what it does!" I smiled and tossed him the keys.
The first run was a disappointing ~170 horsepower. Travis tweaked the carb to get the secondary butterfly to open and adjusted the
timing. The final run topped out at 210hp and 290 ft-lbs of torque. Its not as much as I had hoped, but its a start. Plus I got a 40hp gain just for driving up to Vancouver. Woohoo! The car definitely feels peppier than with the old carb, and it doesn't bog when I stomp the pedal anymore.
My distributor needs work next. It is supposed to vary the timing based on RPM, but its just keeping everything constant. I'll take it apart this week and see if I can fix it. That should improve things, and get back some of the low-end torque that's missing now with the the timing set for WOT.
I took my video camera, but due to lack of sleep I ended up with footage from only 1 dyno run and about 15 minutes of the inside of my pocket. Even through my coat the motor still sounds strong (<-- give it a listen). The last 3 pictures show the engine bay as it is now, how it was last year, and
how it was when I bought it several years ago. I like the progress.
|Wednesday, December 14, 2005|
||Gutting the Charger|
by brian @ 16:59:40 - [perma-link]
Josh and I pulled the seats and carpeting (2 layers!!! Who carpets
over carpet?) out of the Charger over the weekend. The passenger
side looks pretty clean, but the drivers floor has some rust,
hopefully just superficial. Yesterday I stripped the dashboard.
Looks like I missed a piece on the left.
There was a build sheet under the original carpeting, so I looked up
some of the codes online. Aside from the original white vinyl top
and the special-order 2.71 highway gears in the rear end, this car
was basic standard features; nothing worth restoring back to
I like the dash without all the pads on it. I'll have good seatbelts
with shoulder belts, so the extra cushioning isn't as important as it
might have been 36 years ago. With everything removed it will be
easier to locate the computer, LCD screen and new gauges.
|Thursday, November 10, 2005|
by brian @ 18:31:13 - [perma-link]
I saw this on the shelf during the show. Oh yeah... I'm in new york and
got tickets to the Colbert Reprt.
|Monday, November 7, 2005|
||Racing at Another Scale|
by brian @ 01:02:26 - [perma-link]
I couldn't wait until we finished the basement to get my slot cars going
again. Instead of setting up the 1/32 track, I got this pretty rad AFX
scale set, the "International Super Challenge" with 16 four-lane layouts
modeled after tracks around the world.
For comparison, I pulled out one of the 1/32 scale cars. HO cars are
small. There isn't as much detail, and the crashes aren't quite as
spectacular as with the big cars.
But 4-lanes flat out rules. And some of these small cars are
ridiculously fast. And even at HO scale, a Dodge Charger sliding its
tail out around a long turn looks pretty cool.
|Sunday, October 16, 2005|
||What is that?|
by brian @ 02:04:55 - [perma-link]
This is the speaker bracket from underneath the dash of my charger,
like up in the center under the window. Its was the center channel
back before there were 4 other speakers and a sub to go with it.
I pulled the wretched carcass of the speaker out while I had the dash
out a few weeks ago. It actually frees up a ton of space inside the
center of the dash. So the battery box is out, and now I'll try
mounting it in the dash. I think I can re-use this original bracket
(maybe not the rusty original screws) to attach the computer to the
car, or at least use it as a template.
|Thursday, October 13, 2005|
by brian @ 17:50:14 - [perma-link]
Obviously these pictures are not in the car. I got my mini-itx system
parts Tuesday night. Yesterday I went out and got an ATX power supply,
so I can power it up and debug it before I put the system in the car.
This will be the new "entertainment system" for the Charger. The 100G
disk will hold plenty of music, videos and maps and who knows what
That's a lot of space.
The small screen will go somewhere in the dash, and is a touchscreen, so
I can just poke stuff while driving instead of having to switch from
the steeringwheel to a keyboard/mouse. It shouldn't be any more
difficult than pressing radio buttons. The keyboard I have for it can
roll up, so I can store it in the center console, and pull it out if I
really need it.
So far I've just installed Linux. I still need to install the drivers
for some of the parts.
Then I need to figure out what to use to build the chassis for the final
|Sunday, October 2, 2005|
||Charger electrical problems: Solved|
by brian @ 21:05:10 - [perma-link]
For now, anyway. The two dash pics show you how it flips down to access
the back. The soldering tools represent what I did, since its all back
together now, and I didn't think to take pictures during...
The headlights work again, and are much, much brighter. They also lost
the yellowish tint that old crappy bulbs make, and have a whiter light
as the halogens should. The main culprit turned out to be a bad
footswitch (replaced with an under-dash toggle for now).
There were also a couple of fused wires (one sort of ground-ish, and the
other sort of straight from the battery positive) at the bulkhead. I
peeled them apart and wrapped them in tape. I drove today with the radio
and lights on. Nothing flickered or cut out when I hit the brakes or
turn signals. It all works!
While the dash was open I hooked up the windshield washer wires. Turns
out that Jen's dad and I actually did fix it about 5 years ago, but we
didn't have the full wiring diagram. But with the back of the dash in
plain view it was a piece of cake. The pump, hoses, and engine
compartment wiring that we did back then were all good.
I should fix the horn next.
|Saturday, August 6, 2005|
by brian @ 20:53:39 - [perma-link]
The new gears went in today, with not too much trouble. Now my Charger
acts like a muscle car.