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About Shuka

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  • Birthday October 11

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    LE5 Ecotec Miata

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  1. Doors! We've also been busy. The shop now has 240V 125A power, lights, welding receptacles, wired network, and running water!
  2. We added a few receptacles last night. You can see how we brought power into the panel from the trench (gray conduit below the panel.) People have asked "why didn't you bring pipes through the foundation?" - The outer perimeter has a 1' wide by 2' thick reinforced 'perimeter beam' that the builder told us was off limits for bringing pipe through. While we could have gone under like we did the floor drain pipes, this would have put the conduit a foot off the wall inside. We're resisting the temptation to move stuff in, but we have a flooring contractor coming early next week to densify, polish, and seal the surface (they're going to use SR2.) Doors get installed Thursday.
  3. We spent the weekend making Home Depot trips and playing with equipment rentals. Amazon delivered a large pile of UFO lights: $1500 of high bay lights... Off to Home Depot for a lift rental. We should have gotten the bigger one, since we had to move this one back and forth to get the outer corners. \ As night fell we wired in a single fixture to have light while we worked. Steve: "Uh... are you sure we need 12 of these?" We used 1/4" eye bolts to hang the fixtures to the beams overhead. Still a single light on: I drilled and hung the lights, then Steve went up on the lift to wire them while I worked on the panel and conduit on the ground. 6 out of 12 fixtures lit. "This is gonna be brighter than daylight I think." All lights on! We could only do this for a moment since the combined load exceeded 20A and we were still on an extension cord for power. Sunday we returned the lift and rented a trencher. We spent the day laying power cable, network cables, and a 3/4" PEX water pipe. By the end of the day we had permanent power (125A feed!) Steve looking pretty tired. I tracked down the light meter and took some readings: Yep. That's 190 foot candles. Peak is about 195, lowest in the 160's. It's actually really close to the DIALux calculation!
  4. Fedex brought us a gaint pile-o-lights! The building is almost done, but we're still waiting on the roll up doors. Tomorrow is lift rental and light mounting day!
  5. With shop progress full throttle, we know that lighting will be top priority once we can actually move in. I have been looking at high bay LED "UFO" lights, but deciding where and how many can be pretty tricky. Luckily, I do this stuff for work! There is pretty dang good lighting calculation software out there - and it's FREE! I used DIALux Evo to do this. It takes some fiddling around to get the basic workflow and features figured out, but it's not too bad. I found some promising fixtures on Amazon, and then found a similar power/lumen/beam angle fixture in DIALux's library. You can have the software place the fixtures for you, or you can do it manually, or a combination of both. I'm shooting for 150 fc in work areas. With the trailer in there (the giant box,) I know the West row of lights won't be super useful, so we'll have each row on its own switch. You can go crazy with detail in this software, down to the color and reflectivity of every single surface, windows, sunlight, furniture, whatever. The numbers are foot candles. For reference 60-75 foot candles is your typical well-lit office... With the row of lights over the trailer turned off it won't be too bad: And no matter what there will be a dark shadowy area between the trailer and the wall. If we keep meaningful things over there we'll need to provide some local lights. I played with different spacing, less and more fixtures, but this seemed to be the right balance of brightness and even lighting. Lights are on order!
  6. Day 3 progress. Dang these guys are fast.
  7. Yesterday's progress. It is going together fast! After hearing horror stories from others with various metal building contractors, we're very happy to see these results. This building is BIG!
  8. For the 3D model, Sketchup. For the 2D PDF's I used Foxit (both free.) I came home from work today to find this:
  9. So much hype. Every time we go walk around on the slab we realize just how crazy big it is. The building construction should start in a week or two. yay. We're shopping around for a place to polish and seal the concrete with an oil/water repellant. Any suggestions? The best price we've gotten is $2.00/sqft to take it to 800 grit and apply sealer.
  10. Here's the final layout. 40' side facing the house. -Roof will be gray to match our house's roof -3" insulation on walls and roof -Vented Ridge Cap -3' louvered vent on the North side (hidden) -Gutters with Downspouts Building steel arrives on site soon and erection should start early January! I've been staying excited doing lighting calculations with various high bay fixtures Modeling how shadows will fall throughout the day... Trying to get an idea of the scale. It's gonna be a BIG SHOP!! Oh, we're also getting the whole thing on time lapse. Phase 1 is pretty cool and gives a good idea of the scale of this project...
  11. Yes! Big RV door is lined up with the gate and driveway. It should be a piece of cake to back it in. The excavator made short work of the pool! They gave us the code to the Bobcat so we had to try out the hydraulic hammer... And then they brought in a bunch of fill to build the pad They also tore out the fence and cleared our easement. It gained us another 10 ft easy behind the shop. After the pad had settled for a few weeks and we got a weather window, they set the forms! We put drain piping in before they did the form work. The two divots in the middle are reinforcement for a two post lift. Today was the concrete pour. Now we just need a building!
  12. I figured I'd give y'all a big update! Earlier this year we started the permitting process. Since we're inside Harris County, but in unincorporated, we only had the county to please. We also have no HOA or deed restrictions! So game on! I put together a scope of work, and details on the site. Rev 1 was rejected for not having a fill affidavit, Rev 2 rejected for not having drainage details, Rev 3 was approved! I had been shopping around buildings and gotten some very high and very low quotes. Many companies just wanted to sell us the steel and let us deal with it from there (including unloading of their truck.) A few came in super high, but we found a company with reasonable pricing. https://guthriebuildings.com/ in Houston. We went back and forth on options and pricing, and settled on a 40x50 building, 16' height, with a reasonable number of doors and windows. It's not quite as nice or as big as we wanted, but managed to keep the turnkey package (slab, building with all accessories, erection, etc) under $60,000. With the contract in place, it was time to prep the site! https://youtu.be/yx73Z4IscwQ If you're wondering, to completely demo, fill, and compact a pool is a little under $10,000. Preparing the pad cost a few thousand more. It was a nice little pool... 😞 Steve playing in the pool as it drained It only took about 12 hours to drain the entire thing. A few days later some equipment showed up.
  13. I picked up a junkyard motor in town from an '08 Malibu, stripped it down to shortblock, and put it back together using the head from the first motor (I had recently gotten machine work on it.) The old motor had blobs of water coming out with the oil when I drained it! Out the door for under $800. Gotta love cheap Chevy motors. I dragged it to MSRH to shake down and hooray! No oily foam spraying out of the breather! Lots of tweaking to do, but it's ready for ST5 competition!
  14. Same hit, different day. All the hard work on this swap is done. It just needs a new bottom end.
  15. At this point I think it's time to replace the motor. Apparently Ecotec blocks are prone to cracking due to the casting process (lost foam.) Even after a new head gasket and new water pump, I'm still getting a steady flow of steam coming out of the breather. I warmed up the car, stuck the breather hose in a water bottle, and ran the car on the street for 15 minutes. I ended up with this: On track I was getting a foamy oily liquid, which violently sprayed out of the catch can. My guess is the engine oil temperature on track gets high enough to flash off water as it's introduced to the crank case, making for a dramatic result. Looks like my holiday project will be replacing the Ecotec, after I finish replacing the K24 with a spun bearing in the other Miata. These engine swaps are cheap and reliable right? I honestly think the motor was bad when we bought it. The cams had surface rust on them, so I had to replace them when I first put everything together. We thought the rust was from sitting in a garage with the valve cover half off - but now I realize it was probably because there was a bunch of water in the oil!
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