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My Other Car...

By Bitter, January 10, 2011

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Hilarity ensues.


Hood light is done.

Also I bought a can of the newer CRC GDI intake cleaner and dosed the intake system with it as well as using some to do a piston soak, seemed to visibly clean the piston tops, in #3 which is closest to the EGR tube I can see where carbon used to be but isn't now, it might be my imagination but it feels like it idles nicer and I think its got a more steady idle too.

Next up I need to order the ebay stainless header and down pipe since it's $20 cheaper than the OE replacement J pipe to solve my slowly failing flex section, maybe in the spring I'll get on that or whenever the flex gets louder. Supposedly the ebay stuff has a snip raspy flex section so I'll want to get that replaced, I'll measure and order a nice stainless one and have some muffler shop weld it in for me, they'll do a better job than I can do.

Nice underhood light - looks bright enough that you don't even need a work light to work on it in the dark. Yeah, that Ebay stuff is hit or miss. I've been pretty fortunately, more hits than misses lately from them (knock-on-wood).

Ran the speedy prep clay cloth over it a couple weeks ago and gave it a coat of Collinite 476S, now when it rains or I drive in the rain the car essentially is washing itself since that wax releases dirt so readily and easily. Even bird crap just comes right off like never before!

Hmm, Collinite 476S looks like some interesting stuff - the bulletproof wax! I like both carnauba and synthetic waxes, never through about a combination of the two - figured they would "fight" each other.

I was thinking about that speedy clay cloth just a couple of weeks ago - got some overspray on both the Rav4's - used the traditional clay bars to get it off, but was taking WAY TOO long to do the job. Maybe when I burn through my current jar of clay, might pick up the clay cloth.

I like the clay cloth, did as good a job on a fairly clean car as Mothers clay did but in much much less time, 1/3 to 1/4 of the time. I'm not sure how well it works on a heavily contaminated car but I can find out at some point. I'm hoping it mars less than Mothers does my black Celica with it's stupid soft paint.

476 is from my limited experiences a great wax, easy on, easy off, sheds water and dirt incredibly well. I'll find out this winter how well it stays put, I'll do one last clay down and wax before winter salt hits and then that's all it gets till spring unless the wax protection fails over the winter.

I went to change the air filter in the Mazda because the rubber seal around it was bad. Found some old droppings and urine in the bottom of the air box. Pulled it, found chicken wing bones and more urine/feces under it. Put the car out, soaked it with cleaner, soaked the AC condenser and radiator with cleaner, let it all sit, scrubbed the top of the trans and soaked it a few more times, rinsed it all till clean and no more purple/red response from the urine with the cleaner, washed the air box out the same, added better water drain holes, ran it without filter/box till the fans came on to dry some stuff up, pulled it in, gotta put it back together now. I L O V E my underhood light. I could not have seen that or done the cleaning at night without it.

Got a nice MANN filter on close out from RockAuto for like...pffft nothing. I'll go put it back together later on, not the first time I've had mouse issues but now that it's cleaned up and garaged on the regular should be the last of it. It's been sitting out the past month almost while I worked on my aunties 91 Capri turbo...but this mouse stuff was older than that, likely left overs from when I lived at the apartment and parked by the dumpster 2 years ago.

A while back I bought a single 6 Osram LED spot pod to tinker with, not so bad output but nowhere near the claimed 30W output. I finally boosted it by altering the sense resistor for the driver from 8W total current consumption to 23W total consumption with a peak temp at 70F ambient and no air flow of 140F which is acceptable and there's little visible droop in output as it heats up. It seems fairly stable. I bought a 2nd one just today to do the same boost to, I intend to swap them in place of the cosmetic yellow fogs and wire them as high beam assist/driving lights that'll come on automatic with high beams but will still have a disable switch so I can manually elect to not have them on with high beams.

Which brings me to the other recent event, the 15 year old foglight wiring I installed when I was about 16 went up in smoke, I think something shorted inside the pass side fog light as it seems to have burnt from there upward but didn't get out from in front of the radiator and luckily I was standing still idling when it happened. For whatever reason the 20A fuse just melted it's case but didn't blow, it could have been one of those recalled Chinese imposter fuses that looks like a fuse but doesn't act like one. It came with the cheap fogs a long time ago, whatever, no true harm done to the car so it's OK. I'll rewire it all when I swap in the spot pods to see if they can be useful down that low or not. Hopefully the can be, they're a very tight spot beam so fingers are crossed. If they aren't useful then I'll repair the yellow halogen fog lights if possible and reinstall those for winter and save up pennies for some Hella MicroDE projector fogs. __________________

Yup - those rodents love to hide out in those areas of the car - at least it didn't get inside and start shredding the interior. One of my old muscle cars, chipmunks and mice stripped all the foam and jute from the seats - nothing left except the vinyl covering and springs underneath!

Ouch - luckily it happened the way it did and that you were there when it happened. Always a good excuse to come up with a nice upgrade.

The engine light popped on 2 days ago with a P0141 and then last night it went back out again on it's own, I need to inspect the wiring but it's probably the original sensor at 145K miles. A NTK OE replacement is about $40, not bad.

Engine light hasn't come back on since, I'll worry about when I worry about it, got other things to fix in the mean time. Also re-doing the headlights, finally got some projectors that fit and light well and weren't too expensive.



Duplicates of what I have now that I'm eh about, use them flipped upside down from how they go in a BMW.

Waiting on some of the shrouds to come in. Test fit the projectors in my spare headlight and they seem to sit level unlike the last pair I tried forever to get to work right. Hopefully this will be a quick retrofit this time! I'm pondering seeing if I can polish a clear circle in the stock headlight lenses and re-fit the correct model year 1998 lights and side markers or not, would be kind of fun for until I have the 00-02 bumper painted, I'll get it sprayed and put on when I get the leading edge of the hood fixed.

Decently priced - stuff looks good so far.

Yeah, getting them to sit level is always tough - sometimes you get lucky and they just work out. That was NOT the case with my Matrix - I eventually gave up and got an OEM set to replace the ones I chopped up. Might try to print something out on my 3D printer, once I get a replacement hot end for it, to serve as a better temporary bracket next time.

I think the key this time is that the supplied rubber washer is cut so badly (both are), they're totally lop sided and acting like a shim to push the projector up into place. I bet I could get the last set of projectors to work if I used these washers too but as I later found out they're prone to have issues with the metal parts expanding and the high beam shield getting stuck either on or off or in between. Bending the channel it rides in can help but then sometimes it doesn't return to the right spot to be in focus totally. I'll probably mod them a little to fix the shield issues and give a friend some retrofit headlights since I've got two sets of this projector with nothing to use them in.

Unless I end up messing with some of my spare halogen Celica head lights and put bixenon in the hacked up high beam bowl and see if I can get the high and low beams aligned or something. No idea, but it could be fun, but again I have no use for that and probably couldn't sell them for what I spend on them time wise.

Tiguan shrouds or something, they snap right onto the D2S 3.0 and these 4.0 Clone projectors, a couple dabs of JB to make sure they don't go anywhere and I'll be set! I like how they look better than the E46 shrouds and the E46 don't snap in place. Win/Win I think. I'll set about making sure the aim will be correct on the car this weekend and then do the pigtail for the harness and try to find some bulb caps. I lost whatever came with these head lights if any came with. Once I get things sorted out to make sure it works right I'll order the driver side head light but probably go ahead and install the passenger side and ride around crooked eyed for a week till I do the other side. I don't give a **** how stupid it looks, it's the winter beater.

I also like that I get less stray light with these shrouds and projectors, what stray light there is comes off at even steeper and less likely to annoy angles than what I have now. I appreciate the slight housing fill that the shrouds product, it's nothing like an M45 shroud does but it still gives the whole lamp some light.

Wow doesn't even approach the difference between my old stuff and this stuff. Same bulbs, same ballasts, pass side is new housing and new projector, driver side is my old stuff. I think the rotation is just slightly off on the passenger side, it might have shifted when I was working on it or something, I'll see if I can correct it without opening it back up or not but I should probably either fix it right or leave it alone cause there's a greater chance of me making it worse than there is of me making it better if I try to short cut.


I tried the crooked silicone washers with the 3.0 projectors in the old pass side headlight for grins, they still put the beam through the wrong part of the lens so no matter what I did the 3.0 wouldn't have worked out for me in these headlights. So odd...

But I think I'll hack up some 7x6 housings and stick the square 3.0 projectors in them and put them on my dads Jeep YJ as a fathers day gift when he's up this way around May this year. He'll like that quite a bit and being D2S bulbs are readily available.




Oh and some output shots too! Low and high beam.

Well the CD-4E trans finally began acting up, 150K miles is about double what they usually go before they fail. It felt like a sticking valve in the valve body kind of issue, twice it acted up, well 3 times. Once after being on the highway when I came to stop at the ramp for a light it 'bumped' like it had a misfire but I didn't see any RPM drop on the tach when I glanced down, then it was hesitant to take off and kind of lunged into 1st gear, also heard a light scrape on the left hand turn. A few miles later at another stop it hesitated and felt like I was in 3rd then lunged into first and went around a right hander with a louder scraping kind of noise. I did find I managed to leave a couple screw drivers under the hood so since I took those out I haven't heard any sounds around turns. I'd heard the sound a few times over the last week or two, thought it was a busted plastic shield out of place hitting a tire, might have been the screw drivers or maybe it's the trans. I put in part of a can of 'mechanic in a bottle' to see if it'll buy me some time till the weather is nicer and I can drive the Celica while I tear into the Mazda. I'll get the backlog of parts done on it all at once, or try to. Hope we stay slow enough for it. Jasper trans is almost $2500 with tax but I don't really trust much else since the other option is a $1450 rebuild but the CD-4E is such a fail prone trans I'm not confident a simple rebuild of the wear parts and seals is good enough. I'm going to speak with the Jasper rep to see if there's any kind of discount he can get me and if there's any PCM updates they're aware of, I'll also try talking to the Mazda dealer but honestly their service dept writers suck, they're more sales people than they are technicians.

Thanks for keeping this forum alive, Bitter... It seems like everyone has gone to the rapture. default_blink

Haha. I just clack away, it's a good way to keep track of stuff.

Awesome photos of your HIDs - cutoff is nice and low on the low beams - gets the light on the road without dazzling other drivers. The high beams are crazy bright - looks like a flood light on the side of the building - good to straightening out cheap HID modders that didn't do it the right way.

Sorry to hear about the trans -though getting 150K out of it is pretty amazing. I think the CD-4E were also used on the Ford Probes - those things are always breaking down, though that might be due to Ford QC at the time.

Yea thanks, the lights are fairly good. I need to go in and figure a foreground limiter cause it's too bright up near the car which is detrimental to highway driving. I've just gotten some low hour used 85122+ to swap in place of the aftermarket bulbs so that should make things even better.

The magic elixir seems to be working for now, no slamming shifts and no slipping or scraping sounds. I know it's only a matter of time, just hold out till the weather is warmer.

Exhaust seemed loud, the gasket between the muffler and midpipe I put on a few years ago is coming apart and making some noise, I'll have to see if I can fix that Monday but until then I can just turn the music up louder. I'm fairly confident that 600W RMS can drown out a partly absent gasket.

Driver side headlight has a distinct double cutoff and is dimmer, some kind of shield issue, contacted the AliExpress seller with some photos to see if they'll warranty one and send a replacement or if I can just buy a single unit. I think I'm outside any warranty but it doesn't hurt to ask. I might end up blowing money I don't have on some MiniD2S 4.0 projectors now that I know they'll work (these are the Chinesium versions with a different cutoff shield, but same bowl and what not), they're a bit wider, the cutoff is aluminum so I can re-work the step if I want to to make it less huge cause it's huge and I'm not a fan of a huge cutoff step. It is kinder to other driver especially if I'm going to continue running them at 45W. With some low hour used Philips 85122+ in these projectors at 45W the light output is even more staggering than with the Yeaky and Morimoto bulbs. Almost halogen in color but just TONS of light, amazingly bright and I'm outshining anything driving along with me on the road by double or more.

My exhaust pipe came, a day late from Amazon Prime but not actually a day late because tracking said it would be a day early. Anyway, came at the tail end of lunch, I managed to put one entirely too thick coat of VHT Flameproof flat aluminum color paint over all the welds and flanges. I'll put a second coat on Monday morning at work and try to put it on during lunch that day if there's a rack free. The pipe has broken away and it's pretty annoyingly loud, it sounds like a non vtec honda with a resonated straight pipe.

Exhaust pipe was a stinker to do, broke a bolt and had to grind some others off that wouldn't come and couldn't heat due to the gas tank and drive on rack being in my way. I've checked it a few times since and the VHT paint seems to be holding up well, no rust on the welds anywhere yet, see how winter treats it. The muffler will fail next, the top has some ugly spots that I slathered with muffler cement to keep things silent for the time being. Flex section is taking a poo at the moment, I've got a whole ebay header that should fit for $30 shipped, fingers crossed, otherwise it's $90 for a flex pipe.

Ran some X66 top end cleaner through, made a big big difference in how smooth it idles and runs overall. Did some steam cleaning but probably too short a duration, the misfires were making me worry about the cat converter. Running some TWC3 marine 2 stroke in the fuel at 640:1 ratio (1oz/5gal) as it's supposed to help combat/prevent carbon build up and quiet the engine/smooth the idle even more, skeptical but it's cheap to try and a bunch of people swear by it. The X66 top end cleaner though, that made a huge difference. Sucked some through PCV and then poured some on piston tops and let it sit for 3-4 hours then sucked the piston dishes, cranked with plugs out till fairly dry, then started it up with only a little puff of smoke and drove it hard with lots of WOT at highway speeds. Idle was immediately smoother when I came back home with it.

Put in a Jasper trans and she ran great on a 1000 mile test drive over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Shifts great every time now! At the same time as the trans I also put in a left axle since the outer boot was about to split and the axle boot kit cost only about $15 less than the axle did, 2 front lower control arms since the rearward bushings were rotten, two new front sway bar links, and an aftermarket rear engine mount that I severely regret. It doesn't fit right and is causing a heck of a harsh idle. I'm going to get an OEM mount and align the mounts per a TSB procedure in the next month hopefully. The Jasper trans came with a nice external cooler kit that has an inline fluid thermostat to keep the trans running at 180F, I got that mounted up with minimal fuss and used good fuel line style clamps to prevent future issues with clamps cutting into rubber hoses. I dropped the whole exhaust system and replaced the front pipe with a leaky flex section, also I replaced all the gaskets and used some muffler cement on some areas where the gasket seal was a little uncertain, doubled up the gasket between mid pipe and muffler, the system is quiet now without any leaks. The leaking when full fuel tank was tossed in the trash and the new tank installed, no more leaks!

Only hiccup besides the mount is that the fuel level sender isn't working all the time, I believe when it sat empty some varnish dried onto the contacts and causes it to read lower than actual resistance and stay pegged on full. It seems to read correctly for every other fuel fill up so far. I run down to about 1/2 tank and then get gas it works, then I fill up again at 1/2 tank and park for a couple days it stays pegged on full. I just got gas every 200ish miles and had no issues other than that minor annoyance. It's currently working, I've added some Gumout All in One in hopes of that doing something for me with uncertain results and just to throw in more wrenches I also went back to blending in a 640:1 ratio of TCW3 oil and in another hail mary I tossed in a couple ounces of acetone hoping it'll clean the level sender elements as well. I do NOT want to drop my fuel tank and replace the sender, I'm hoping through use it'll work normally again.

Ok so, been just over 5000 miles and trans is working well after having the ECM reflashed by the dealer because Jasper uses the updated shift accumulator servo but doesn't mention that they do. Sometimes I can cause a small 2-3 shift flare but I'm not too concerned about it. Fuel level seems to be working 95% of the time, still don't trust it and am running by miles not the gauge which is something I do in both of my cars anyway. Trusting the gas gauge is how you end up by the side of the road walking to get a gallon of gas.  I think the right rear quick strut that was put in a long time ago has a loose upper mount nut on the strut, I'll dig into that at work tomorrow. I've been having some noise in the rear over bigger dips, sounds like a very slight soft clunking like something dropping a little. Everything else is tight so I'll check that and hopefully solve that issue. I had a nearly flat tire on the passenger front, two small punctures I plugged. The automatically turning off headlights failed to work for a couple days then started working again, so I'll ignore that until it's an issue again. It just keeps on racking up miles! I really enjoy how the stereo I installed in it sounds, I wish to try to duplicate that in the Celica at some point.

Celica is going strong, I'm going to try to install the DD intake manifold this summer/fall. I had a nice spring meet out at starved rock and got to take a fellow for a spin who has a 300whp 23psi water injected 3S-GTE 6th gen Celica. Of course I have no where near the power level he does (not even close) but he had a good time in my car on the twisty bits talking about his super strut suspension, camber, grip, momentum driving, and getting his eyeballs sucked out by my stock brakes. Everyone makes the same grunting sound when I whomp on the brakes!

Anyway, I cleaned the inside of the car some the past couple weekends but only documented it this last time.

That lil Chinese water swirly blowy sucky machine works a treat!  Needs a good compressor behind it though, lucky I have access to a beast of a 2 stage unit which has only one tap off it and a oversized pressure regulator. It GOES good on that compressor, all my air tools do! Anyway, I still have more cleaning to do, I'm about 2/3 done with the soft parts inside the car. The driver seat needs some more work, another pass with cleaning solution and then a pass with clean water to rinse it out and leave it factory fresh. Then the passenger side which won't be as bad. I think I'll pull skip doing the trunk, that's some thin plastic backed carpet and carpet over press board. I want to clean the head liner but I'm afraid I'll just mess up the fabric and cause problems.

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