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For those of you who have known me for a while this won’t come as a surprise. I suffer from Automotive ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder),  and it is just getting worse!

oyNatalie and I are in car shopping mode, we’re looking to downsize from our 2008 F250 FX4, while we love the truck, it is just far too big for our lives in California. We recently sold our horse trailer that we had been trying to sell for a while now. Now that the trailer is gone, we are ready to part with the truck.

So we’re looking at what to get. Natalie would like a 4 door wagon, with room for a stroller (or the dogs) in the back, the baby in the back seat, and us up front. We’re thinking that we would like to find a used BMW 5 series to fill that role, though figuring out what year/mileage is something we haven’t decided yet.

One thought we are having is that perhaps it might be a good idea to trade the Z in on a 4 door car for myself as well. I test drove a 2011 Mitsubishi Evolution today, oh boy, daddy like!

I wouldn’t buy a new Evo, they are far too costly, but I would considering getting a used one and then perhaps an  older (2000-2003) 5-series for Natalie. I went to check out a couple of used 2008 Evo’s at a dealer down in San Jose today but immediately noticed that they were both modified, which totally turns me off. I don’t want to get into a modified car again, I’d rather buy something that is completely stock and if I want to modifiy it do it myself.

So we’ll see where this bout with my latest batch of AADHD takes us.

Don’t believe me that I have a problem? Here’s a list of the cars I and Natalie have owned over the past 5 years.

2003 Nissan 350z
2004 Ford F350
1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe
1973 Datsun 240z
1978 Datsun 280z 2+2
2005 Chevy Tahoe
2004 Chevy Corvette Z06
2005 GMC Yukon
2008 Ford F250
1995 Audi A6
2004 Nissan 350z

So I don’t know why I didn’t think of this a month ago, would have saved me some money on shipping, but the Corbeau A4s for the 240z are sold. John V, the guy who bought the Corvette has purchased them for use in his RX-7 that I bought and shipped to him a few weeks ago. Would have made sense to pack the seats in the car then, but I didn’t realize he was going to be interested in them, oh well.

On an unrelated note, have you checked out our sister-site, Project350z.com? You might ask, but you don’t even have a 350Z? True, but I will, at least that’s the plan, to get another one in early 2010 so I can have a car to race next year. I’ve spent a few hours over the past few sick evenings sorting through photos of the old car, which just makes me miss not having a 350Z that much more. I posted photos and got a site design together, though I don’t have much other content up there yet, it will take a few months to get it all together, hopefully just in time to get myself a new (used) ride.

Dozzle, if you read this, I still want to buy my old car back!!!!

So today marks a year since the 2004 Corvette Z06 left our stable. In the past year I’ve autocrossed exactly once, back in March or April of this year in St. Louis. We’ve since moved to Colorado, bought a house, and traded/sold most of our vehicles. We are in the process of trying to build up our stable again, lots of changes going on!

Yesterday I went up to Boulder Colorado and looked at and RX-7 for John, the buy who bought the Corvette. It looks like I will be heading up there next weekend and picking it up. It may require a tad bit of work to get it ready for shipping, but John is going to arrange to have a truck pick it up for the haul to DC.

I hope to start autocrossing again next year with a new ride, probably another 350z. In the mean time be sure to keep track of the progress on the 240Z at http://www.project240z.com

Two years ago today was the day that the Datsun toasted Motor #1 on it's first autocross run! Here’s a shot of that first competition run.

IMG_3199 by you.

And then a short time later (same run) here’s my getting out to push it

IMG_3242 by you.

Here’s what we found when we just happened to pull plug #2

This isn't good by you.

And then this is what it looked like when I went to drain the oil from the motor

Drained by you.

 

A few things have happened in the two years since that fateful day. A few months later I purchased a 2004 Corvette Z06 and autocrossed that for a year.

I sold the Corvette.

I got the Datsun running again with another motor, same turbo setup.

We moved to Colorado. www.going2colorado.com

In the next few weeks I hope to get more of the 240 back together, starting to work on the electrical system and such. Then during the first week of September the car goes to www.hanksvillehotrods.com for a new exhaust, maybe I can talk them into a cage too ;)

So my weekend of working on the 240Z started off quite slowly today. I ended up sleeping until almost noon this morning, it was nice to catch up on some much lost rest from the travelling the past few months.

So after my restful morning I had a few errands to run to get my costume ready for a party tonight. Once those were completed I was able to spend some time in the garage. First things first getting the months of piled on crap off the top of the car. That led me to assembling the 2nd craftsman stool that I had purchased probably 10 months ago now, it was in a box on the hood of the car.

Once I could see the top of the car I made room at the back and rolled her back a bit in the garage, this allowed me to get to the motor which has been on the stand for quite some time sitting in front of the car. Without the Corvette in the garage (*sheds a small tear*) I had plenty of room to move the motor over to the free side of the garage to work on. The next step for the car is to get all of the motor bits back together, the manifolds, turbo and all other accessories need to be put on the car so that I can put it back in the engine bay. I spent some time this afternoon cleaning off some more of the grease/dirt that covers the motor. I think Lynn, the previous owner, took it to a rally cross based on all the dirt and grime I’ve pulled off this motor over time.

I didn’t get too far today, but I hope that tomorrow I can get all of the parts back on the motor, if I can successfully do that I should be able to get the motor back in the car next weekend. The biggest problem I have working on the car is staying focused, if I’m by myself I tend to stray from the task at hand, and I never seem to get anything done. Case in point today, at some point while working on clearing off the car I got out the angle grinder and wire wheeled the hole where the FM antenna was at one point, I thought it looked like it might be rusting so I took the paint off then sprayed some primer on the car. Now it looks worse than before, but I had fun! :)

More updates tomorrow, hopefully with some video. I tried using the Chase Cam today to shoot some video but apparently the PDR doesn’t really care for normal AA batteries as it only stayed powered on for about 5 minutes before shutting off, without me knowing.

So it's been a while since I've made any real progress on the 240Z, but come the end of October I hope my weekends will finally slow down enough that I can start working on the car again with the intention of getting it running before Christmas!

The Corvette goes away in just over a week, which will leave me without a fun car to drive, so hopefully that will motivate me a little bit to work on the 240 after I get done travelling for the month of October.

So the final days are now ticking down. I have two, maybe three days of driving the Corvette left before we leave for Amsterdam. Natalie will be flying back from Amsterdam and meeting John (the new owner) at the airport next Friday so he can take posession of the car.

I was getting the mail tonight and saw the car sitting half in the garage and half out, where I had parked it, in the light, it looked beautiful. It really is an amazing car, I will miss it, I already do.

You might ask, why are you selling the Z06? One main reason. Natalie and I plan to move to Colorado (even though we are rumored in the horse world to be moving to Germany) next summer, and while I love the car, the car payment and insurance could be used for more grown up things than racing, like buying our first house, and planning for the move. I don't imagine I will go long without a fun race car though.

So what will come next? That is undecided at this point. I will most likely buy a $2-3k ride/beater for the winter so I don't have to drive the long ass F350 all winter, and hopefully spend some time working on the 240Z to get it up and running soon. I need something fun to drive, that is for sure, but even if the 240 runs, it would take a lot of work and money to make it anywhere near as fun as the Corvette.

I don't know what I will race next year, perhaps I'll try to find a nicely prep'd codrive, perhaps I'll take it easy for the year. This year in the Corvette has been fun. I think I've put something in the range of 150 autocross runs on the car not including test and tune runs, on a whole the car has seen well over 300, maybe near 400 runs this year.

Hopefully John and Clyde can put that many runs on her next year.

Well the garage finally has a little more room, though not enough to bring the car home from storage yet. Perhaps later this summer, though with my racing schedule (www.corvettez06.org)  I don't have any free weekends until September, and even then I think I have only one weekend that month, maybe 1 in October and then 2 in November if I am lucky!

I made a few changes to the site this evening, a few things I've had planned for a while. Now, all my blog posts from www.project240z.com, www.corvettez06.org and http://weblogs.asp.net/christoc will all aggregate here, so you can pull in my RSS feed from www.chrishammond.com and get whatever blog posts I make on those sites as well. The links should take you directly to the blog posts on those sites.

If you see any problems with this please let me know, I'm excited to get this flexibility built into the site and have another project to be announced later this week that will use this feature as well!

When is too much? What am I referring to? Tires in my garage. Long ago everyone on Solo2.org did a count of tires and wheels in their arsenal. I think I might win if we did that again, here's a current count of tires/wheels that are in my garage, and does not include tires mounted to any of our 4 vehicles or two trailers. 4 street tires off the 240Z 4 Hoosier tires for the Corvette (good race tires) 4 new street tires for the Corvette 2 new Hoosier tires for the Corvette 8 combination of used race Wheels (3) and tires (8) for the Corvette 1 spare trailer tire 1 inflatable spare for the datsun That's 24 sitting in my garage right now, pictures for proof.

Weekend Update from my post of tasks to do from Friday night (accomplished items are crossed through)

1. Wash/Wax the Corvette

2. Put the motor for the 240Z back together. (some done, manifolds need to go back on)

3. Make room in the garage so I can pull the Corvette back into the garage

4. Sleep

5. Finish getting prepped for the DotNetNuke Training that starts on Monday.

6. Get better (still in progress)

Not a very productive weekend if I do say so myself. I'm working on #5 this evening.

 

1. Wash/Wax the Corvette 2. Put the motor for the 240Z back together. 3. Make room in the garage so I can pull the Corvette back into the garage 4. Sleep 5. Finish getting prepped for the DotNetNuke Training that starts on Monday. 6. Get better
So Natalie and I cut the St. Pat's trip short by about 14 hours. After the fun I had last night, I wasn't feeling up for another night of drinking so we left Rolla around 6pm this evening. Lesson learned, don't over drink yourself the night before your birthday, otherwise you spend your birthday in bed feeling your new age. Sunday I'm looking forward to a few things. I'm going to raise the front end on the Corvette up probably 1/4-1/2 inch, to hopefully stop dragging everytime I come to an inclined driving surface. I'm then going to head to Illinois and stop by the Novice School, try to get the car Annually teched, and then possibly go swing by Tuxedo Park and see how dirty the 240Z is. If Steven is over at TPR I'll do my best to try and talk him into letting me dyno the Z06, I'd like to get a baseline run in before I put the Borla exhaust on this week.

So Nick came over this morning and helped me get the motor off the ground and onto the engine stand so I could begin tearing it apart. After breaking a bolt off in the head trying to get one of the mounts setup for the cherry picker we managed to get the motor up and off the ground, though it took a couple of tries because we tried to get by with "the wrong" parts, meaning bolts in the chain that were too small for what we were doing.

Lesson learned, again, use the right damn tools, instead of trying to make the wrong tools work. You'll save time rather than trying to take short cuts.

Once we had the motor up on the stand he headed home to work on this car and I started trying to get the motor cleaned up a bit. Here are two before shots, of the front of the motor just caked in dirt and crap.

L28E L28E

After spraying it down with degreaser and scrubbing with a wire brush I decided to finish what I started yesterday and remove the manfolds from the side of the motor. That actually went fairly easily, I'm not sure why, perhaps loading up the bolts with WD-40 yesterday before I finished helped, some of them almost seemed loose before I even cranked on them, perhaps Eric or I started to remove them last year when working on the other motor?

After getting the manifolds off I took off the last remaining attached item to the side of the motor, but honestly, I'm not sure what it was? At first I assumed it was a power steering pump, but the more I think about it the more I think it might have been the AC compressor?

After that I tried to spend some time organizing the garage a bit. I managed to get a few things hung up on the wall and made more room in there for the Corvette. I've still yet to make enough room to bring the 240Z home from storage. I don't think I'll be able to park both cars in the garage until I have the motor in the 240, otherwise I'll never have room in there for both cars and the motor, plus transmissions.

Speaking of transmissions, I need to sell the 2 extra ones I have, if anyone is looking for an automatic transmission out of a 73 240Z, or a 5 speed out of a 280Z let me know. I was told the 5 speed needs rebuilding, I have no clue about it other than that.

My goal/plan right now is to tear down the L28E and check things over, replace the rear main seal, make sure to clean it out, then try and put it all back together. I don't imagine I'll get that done before May, but I would like to spend time on it over the next few weeks if I can.

So last night 7 of us went out to dinner at Llywelyn's in Webster Groves. I wanted to go see Steve Ewing from The Urge playing there, and I figured I'd drag along a few guys from work so Natalie and I would have some people to talk to. It was a great time, and I must say, Steve is an amazing singer, if you get a chance to see him playing somewhere do. In person he sounds just like the recordings except with a little more crowd enticement there. Check him out at www.steviee.com I'm also proud to say I'll be using some of his music in upcoming videos for www.corvettez06.org and www.project240z.com
That is the question for 2008? How many hobbies is too many? Here's a list of the ones I want to do so far.... (in no particular order) 1. Play more golf 2. Get the 240Z running 3. Race the Corvette (alot) 4. Play and Record Music 5. Home Automation 6. Developer more cool DNN modules How many of those have I done so far this year? So far #1, started on #5, and always do #6 Nick and I went to the driving range today for a while. We're hoping to play 18 holes...
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Chris Hammond is a father, husband, leader, developer and car guy. Chris has long specialized in ASP.NET and DotNetNuke development, so you will find a variety of topics here on the website. For more information check out the about me page.

If you are looking for DotNetNuke consulting please visit my business website at https://www.christoc.com/