Wiring clean up & Dash Lights test

I finished wiring up the oil pressure warning light, then cleaned up & loomed the wiring under the dash. I have also cleaned up that big loop of wiring for the master switch behind the center stack. Braided loom is a hell of a lot easier to work with than split loom, but it’s still a pain in the ass lol. At least it’s a whole lot cleaner and better supported compared to the previous video a couple posts ago.

The oil pressure light is that red LED on the right near the master switch. It comes on with the switched 12v from the ignition, then shuts off as soon as the engine fires and builds pressure. Hopefully, that light never shines while the engine is running, as that would be a Bad Thing.

The startup sequence on the LED tacho = giggles.
You’ll note the lights are still coming on way early. In 1 way it worked out because I didn’t have to zing the motor to 7k+ after 9pm to test it out, but I couldn’t figure out why it hadn’t taken the setup I gave it last time. I went back through and checked and the lower and upper light points were still set correctly, so something else was up. Turns out it was running a configuration expecting a signal from a COP system, not a wasted spark / dashboard tach signal. That’s now fixed.

The To-Do List is getting shorter.

I got to spend a few hours working on the car today and got much done. With some help (electrons and I don’t really get along), the shift light and oil pressure warning light were wired up and mounted on the dash. The wiring still needs to be cleaned up, and I need an NPT > Metric fitting for the sender, but you get the idea. I’m kind of surprised (and amused) at just how naked it looks without that dash panel. It really does tie the whole thing together.


Lo and behold, it starts to look like a car again! I still have the interior of 1 door to paint, then the outer skin of the doors will get wrapped and numbers, and then they can get hung on the car. I’m starting to get close. Once the doors are on, I’ll start playing with the ride heights and alignment. I guess I could eyeball it and then dial it in once the rest of the body work is on, but I don’t see much sense in basically doing the job twice.


And now I can do this!

The shift light was not yet calibrated at that time, but it made it easier to show the light off without zinging the car up to near-redline.

Now that it’s set up, the 1st light comes on at 3750 (right about where it needs to be to launch the car), the last + flash happens at 7250. It currently revs to 7750, but it’s a stock 1.6, and isn’t really doing much up there. Useful to have a few extra revs sometimes in autocross, but it’s not always needed. I also set it up to give a stall warning, which is useful with a 5lb flywheel and you’re trying to get the car you just spun back up and running. It seems like it would be obvious, but it isn’t always. Now I’ll get the 1st two and the last 2 LEDs lit up if the car goes from running to not running without the ignition being interrupted. It’s a neat bit of kit.

Oh, I almost forgot! I had it moving under its own power as well. To get to my buddy’s shop to do the electrical work, the car obviously needed some help, but it got out of the shop and up on the trailer under its own power.


Boys and Their Toys

For me, half the fun of a race car is the build and tuning. The more tools in the toolbox (toys in the toybox?), the better. On that note, I’ve recently picked up a few new “really ought to have” workshop toys. A buddy was getting rid of some tools, so I snagged a folding engine hoist and an engine stand:


I also picked up some Cleco fasteners. These things make riveting pieces of metal together SO easy. I’ve known about them for a while, just haven’t taken the plunge for a variety of reasons. The time finally came, and they’re already making quick work of installing a couple of dzus fasteners to connect the corner of the bumper to the front fenders where we cut off a captive-nut tab to fit the 15x10s.




I also used my new tools to build a new tool with which to store my new tools. Inspired by a PHOTO posted by a FB friend, I was thinking of where in the shop these should live, and that solution was better than anything I’d come up with.


And lastly, Harbor Freight had a sale on 1000 lb furniture dollies. I added 18″ lengths of 2×6 pine to make a platform, and will use them as alignment stands. I still need to add stops at the front and rear to prevent the car rolling off of them, but for the price I’m pretty damn pleased with them.



Oh, you might notice that the car’s on its wheels. This weekend, we got suspension suspended, the wheels on, the hood on (needs to be adjusted a little more), seat back brace removed (as it’s unneeded for Solo), front tow hook installed, and the bumper removed for the aforementioned project. Progress!


On a COMPLETELY unrelated note apropos of nothing: you know who didn’t think that “transmission bellhousing bolts” might just be the perfect hardware to bolt an engine stand to the threaded bell-housing bolt holes on an engine block? This guy. I was trying all kinds of jerry rigged shit when I realized “These are threaded… I have a bunch of bolts that will almost fit those threads… oh, look at that. Bellhousing bolts totally fit on the bellhousing bolt holes on the block. WHO KNEW!?”


Hill Climb Safety Prep: Part 2

I scored a couple of important safety items for Christmas to meet SCCA Hill Climb (and my own…) safety standards.

A set of Post Anchors to round out the HANS set up.


An IO Port Racing Seat Back Brace was also received, and this SHOULD be, if I’m reading the regs correctly, the last required safety item (save finding a location for the fire bottle and getting the re-webbed harnesses back from GForce Racing) on the list. These are basically Universal / Modify to fit pieces, so a little work had to be done. First find where I wanted the bolts on the front side of the seat. After some measuring, I drilled pilot holes in the seat and then used those to mark hole locations on the backing plate. Going through the big gusset made sense to me for the added material thickness & strength:


After the bolts were secured, a hole had to be drilled to secure the tube that connects the backing plate to the roll cage mount. This also gave me an excuse to use my new-to-me stand-up drill press. It’s so much nicer, and has so much less runout than then Horrible Freight special I have, and far easier to adjust.


I like the IO Port brace because of ease of removal. I can keep it 100% intact, and with 6 bolts remove it, as drivers of various sizes drive the car at autocrosses during the season, so having the adjustability there helps. 4 bolts at the cage side, and 2 on the seat, and the whole thing comes off. I WILL need to get longer bolts at the seat, however, as the ones it came with are a bit short, but that’s a small matter. Might as well upgrade to Stainless Steel as well while I’m at it, as those won’t rust nearly as easily as the zinc coated pieces. You can also see where we bent the wings of the brace to more closely match the angle of the seat back in this photo:


And as a Public Service Announcement, since temps are dropping: