I’ve been slowly getting the driveway reorganized. The carport is moved out of the way. So, this past week was the first week the car was able to sleep in the garage. It changes my morning routine up quite a bit.
I also have a 2 post lift coming this week. Once that is up, I will be doing some maintenance on all the vehicles first. Then, getting the truck ready for daily use. After that the car is getting a bunch of stuff finished. This summer is going to be a busy summer for OperationX.
So a lot has been going on but nothing car related. Now COVID-19 is putting a damper on everything.
I took the opportunity to give the Camaro a wash. (I’m not lying, this is probably 1.5 years overdue.)
I’ve also since got the lift installed which is really nice. I can fix so much stuff without crawling around on the floor. I’m so close to being able to put some real wrench time on the Camaro. The end of April I’ll be done with my bachelors and will have more time that I can remember ever having to put into projects. The house is done. School is done. All I have are things I want to do. OperationX is back on the schedule!
I hope everyone reading stays safe and healthy during this time of crisis in the world. I had hoped that this year was going to be a good year considering I would be done with both classes and the house. I still have high ambitions, despite COVID-19. I expect that I will be making a lot of progress on the many things I had planned for this year. Lets see where this year takes us.
None of my installed equipment, other than the more recent things, has been powered on since more than a year ago. First is to figure out all the wiring I’ve added over the years and then power up everything. Its a bit overwhelming. Once I got in there I remembered a lot. It also helps that I made a wiring diagram of a lot of it.
I had to start modifying things to be direct wired. I tried alternative power sources and this was the only one that worked. So I got to hacking.
Not prettiest thing I’ve made, probably not the worst either.
I added more wiring to the already massive amount above the windshield. There is only a phone charger, mirror power, mirror camera wire, and factory wires shown here. They just add up.
The pillar is going to be pain. I’ll have to do something to enlarge the space. It doesn’t fit anymore.
Then on to the, probably over complicated, relay stack that controls all my Push Button start, auto-locking, Immobilizer, and the power relays for accessories. This is where the diagram was my savior. I’m so happy past me didn’t get lazy on this.
Here, I’ve made a short clip of the start up inside the car. Lots of stuff going on. The image is a large GIF file. I don’t know how well it will show here. Give it time to load.
The other thing I’ve started is the console. I have to start fabricating in order to fit the required electronics.
This is most of the stuff that has to fit.
I mocked up the dimensions related to the car so I can start fab-ing brackets and a console frame. This also is based on how comfortable it is to drive. There will be many parts to this console for various functions. But rest assured, it will have a functional cup holder.
I have a bit more work to do before I see any head way. There is more equipment tests I have to run on stereo, push button start, auto-locks, and the immobilizer system. hopefully that will get hashed out this next weekend.
I’m moving on to a few things that are in my way to clean up the area for the new console frame. The main thing is the HVAC controls. I didn’t know if I could relocate them to somewhere else and it fit my clean look. I tried and I hate it so much that I jumped on plan B immediately. I wanted to do “Plan B” to begin with but My programming skills are mediocre at best. I thought I would could mount them somewhere to have time to work on the “Plan B”
First Task is getting the controls mounted to something I can use instead of the factory controls.
I 3d modeled all the mounting points and 3d printed a prototype plate.
first prototype works well.
Now making the factory harness long enough to reach where I need it to. ( a lot of people have reloated the HVAC controls to the glove box, this was not new territory)
I temporarily mounted it next to the radio just to compare the size needed to fit the controls around my other stuff. It looks so annoying. It makes everything look crap to me.
I immediately got on I got amazon and ordered these. I’m going to mount the controls in the dash hidden and use stepper motors to turn the knobs for me. The challenge is how do I tell the motors where to go. I have 2 ideas.
#1 I could make buttons that are simple to make and mount. They would signal a Rasp Pi or Arduino to move the steppers to where I want it. Or #2 a cooler idea would be to make an app that installed on the Tablet to be my HVAC controls. #1 I know I can do and it may make things much easier for me, but #2 is just worth a try.
I haven’t posted in a while, however that isn’t because I haven’t been working on stuff for the camaro. In the last post I relocated my HVAC controls and I ordered stepper motors to replace the knobs to control it remotely.
The motors are in. I did a test on how to operate them with my Raspberry Pi 3. They spin but I still have to develop some way to index the turning with values. More work is needed.
I’ve been changing a few things on the camera mirror. I upgraded to a wider version and mounted the camera to the back glass. I like this location since it raises the camera to be able to see the car. This helps the depth perception since its a fish eye lens.
I also made a purchase that I’ve been holding off on since I didn’t need it yet. I was concerned that I would wait too long and it wouldn’t be available anymore. So, I decided to jump on buying it. Here is a conversion plate for a T56 to bolt to a 3.8. Its made in Australia by Malwood, so It took a minute to get here. It currently sits on the parts pile for when I grenade my T5 or just find a good deal on a T56.
I purchased a new 3d printer (Ender 3 v2) since my old one was failing to complete prints due to some hardware issues. I plan to print dash /console parts on this. I want to build a large format printer, however I’m not ready yet. The old printer can donate its life (and guts) to be reborn as part of a custom large format printer.
And finally, where most of my effort the past couple months have gone. The shop floor has finally been coated. I needed to insulate the ceiling beforehand so I didn’t have to get a lift on a brand new floor. We had a few hiccups, but its now done and looks great! it looks so clean I don’t even want to drive on it lol.
Next steps in the shop are getting everything back in the main part of the shop. My soon to be paint booth is just a mess. It needs to be empty so I can start working on that. My paint job I did back a few years ago need attention. The list never gets smaller.
Next steps on the car, however, is to finish the HVAC relocation remote contol, and getting back on the console/wiring. I need get the loose ends on the truck tied so it can be my daily for a while. I can then focus on the car for a bit without having to put it together well enough to drive it every Monday lol.