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Hot-Rod Newport Progress

Okay, so it's 88 degrees Fahrenheit up here in my writing office, so I decided to go work on the Newport a bit. I mean, if you're already boiling to death and can't think straight to write, you might as well go outside where it's even hotter and do some manual labor, right? I think my reasoning went something like that.

I have a wonderful air-conditioner-slash-dehumifier in the garage, and it displays a temperature readout. Normally - that is, in temps below 100 - it does a great job cooling the garage, and even allows me to cool my back with the door open. But not today. Here's what it looked like just a few minutes after opening the garage door:

It's so hot outside right now that I watched a grackle hide in the shade of a lawn chair, mouth gaping, as it occasionally took a dip in the birdbath. In case you're wondering, I've given up on working outside. Thus this post instead of actually making more progress.

Here's what I finished installing - the new EFI fuel pump with pre- and post-filters, high-pressure fuel line, and wiring to fill the new MSD Atomic EFI system:

Yes, it's still in my driveway. Foolish me, I pulled the carburetor, old distributor, and associated parts a while back, WHILE IT WAS STILL OUTSIDE. In the lovely spring weather, that seemed like a good idea. And I thought I'd have the EFI system installed before the start of the Science Fiction Summer program. Ha. I should always remember the formula for how long something takes to do compared to the estimated time: "Double it and add 30." Now I'm dehydrated, dying of heat, covered in mosquito bites, and bruised from lying on pebbled in the driveway. Someone please remind me that I like to do this stuff.

Other under-car hijinks included installing this collector-reducer onto the header. Note the newly installed oxygen sensor that tells the EFI system how much oxygen and unburned gasoline is in the exhaust:

Here's the injector setup mostly installed on the engine; the sensor array and computer reside beneath the finned cover that says MSD. You can also see the primary computer installed on the far side of the engine compartment, the red box near the top of the photo. The new digitally controlled distributor is the red part on the right with red spark-plug wires coming out of it:

From the driver's side; nice-looking machine, isn't it? The red cylinder in front of it is the high-energy coil, and you can see the newly installed distributor behind it. The distributor is necessary because the old one kept losing timing, even with the old optical sensor; on top of that, it'll also be awesome because now I'll be able to plot a digital ignition curve via the MSD computer interface: No more crappy idling, pinging, or sluggishness!

Why EFI? Because a carburetor is nothing but irritation is why. If you haven't had to deal with one, congratulations! After - what, two years? - of poor starts, regular adjustments, and other tinkering, I got fed up with the carb. EFI provides better fuel mileage, easy starting, better throttle response, precision tuning, usually more horsepower and torque, and many more benefits. I hope to let you know how it runs in a week or two!



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 9th, 2013 10:27 pm (UTC)
I was going to say something clever about your "hot-rod," but I bet you already thought of that. :)
Jul. 10th, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC)
Ba-da-boom, tsch!
Jul. 9th, 2013 10:54 pm (UTC)
Someone please remind me that I like to do this stuff.

Hair shirts are tough to find? No birch-branch bundles handy for self-flagellation?

Just guessing. :D
Jul. 10th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
Hardee har har ;-)

I think the part I don't like has to do with doing this in 100-plus weather.
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:32 pm (UTC)
To be real, Chris, you're losing much of the martyr factor by going EFI, a move of which I heartily approve. Carbs are evil. And that old distributor has been giving you fits since you first put the Newport back together. EFI also fits much better with your low-carb diet! ;)

Now, if you get to feeling REALLY masochistic, I have a '92 Mazda MX-3 GS sitting in the driveway. A mere 120K on it. I hear the original 130 hp K8-DE 1.8L V6 can be swapped out fairly easily for a 168 hp 2.5L KL-DE, or even a 200 hp KL-ZE...

Edited at 2013-07-12 01:41 pm (UTC)
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:49 pm (UTC)
I'm happy to give up future martyrdom in order to actually DRIVE the thing with some reliability. And I love the term "low-carb diet" for adding EFI! :-D

Imagine 200 horsies motivating an MX-3. That'd be a blast.
Jul. 12th, 2013 04:37 pm (UTC)
The big trick there would probably be just finding a KL-ZE. They're Euro-engines made for models not sold here. :( But even 168hp would be cool, and the KL-DE is not hard to find. At 130hp new with the stock engine the thing still had plenty of GO.

Of course, by "masochistic" what I really mean is "Have you ever seen how little room there is under the hood of an MX-3 GS?"

Edited at 2013-07-12 04:39 pm (UTC)
Jul. 10th, 2013 01:09 am (UTC)
Oh, holy moly. Kansas in July!! Your car is very pretty on the inside, though. ; ) Sometime this winter it will run like a charm and you will be so very happy as the snowclad world speeds past.
Jul. 10th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the reminder! This week is why we moved the CSSF Summer program from July back to June. The weather was actually nice.
Jul. 10th, 2013 01:41 pm (UTC)
You know what? It'll be worth it once it's running. I promise.

Edited at 2013-07-10 02:43 pm (UTC)
Jul. 10th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
That is so true!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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