9 votes

What did you do this weekend?

As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their weekend. Did you make any plans? Take a trip? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

18 comments

  1. [2]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Work on the Tercel has resumed after what is (or feels like) a couple of months of lack of motivation or other responsibilities getting in the way. Spent a good amount of time getting the...
    • Exemplary

    Work on the Tercel has resumed after what is (or feels like) a couple of months of lack of motivation or other responsibilities getting in the way. Spent a good amount of time getting the suspension bolts hit with penetrant spray and loosened all the way around. Decades of living in Colorado has rotted out a couple of low areas (pictures in previous posts) where water/road salt could collect and coated everything else in a layer of largely manageable surface rust, at least on the actual thick parts of the car not so much on thin metal like the shocks that are being replaced anyway. And I only broke one bolt! Which is an accomplishment itself on old cars. It's also, thankfully, not a critical one and there's another hole right next to it that can be used instead (it's a bolt that holds a parking brake cable bracket, nut is inside the frame, bolt head sheared off).

    Started with the rear suspension. Old shocks removed and tossed aside, worn out but surprisingly not completely blown and the old springs removed. Pretty sure I've mentioned this, but for those just joining the Tercel is getting a slight suspension lift in addition to the power upgrade. Unlike say, a Subaru, Jeep, or nearly any pickup truck, there are no off-the-shelf lift kits for these relatively rare cars, so everything has to be pieced together. In my case that means using rear springs from a Nissan Pathfinder SUV that while only look slightly taller, the spring is made from thicker steel which increases the spring rate and means it won't compress as much when the car is back on the ground. Pop out the old spring and pop in the new one after transferring over the rubber isolators. Normally this would be where the new shocks, from a Ford Thunderbird, would be installed, but I need to press/drill out the lower bushings on them and press in the new bushings. This isn't done because I don't have a press (but may be able to press in the new bushing with my vise) and while most people swap over the old bushings from the old shocks, mine are worn out and I don't want to use them. So I ordered new polyurethane bushings from an AE86 Corolla that should arrive this week.
    On the subject of polyurethane bushings, I had made a large purchase of every bushing possible for this car (and several that are available from related chassis/parts not specifically listed as fitting the Tercel) from a manufacturer in Australia some time ago and apparently forgot that I had ordered the steering rack bushings, which I later ordered again from a US distributor. So now I have two sets in case anyone here has an AE71, AE86, KE70/71/72, or AL25 chassis. Such is life when completing projects takes years to do and includes moving from one house to another. It's not the only part I have duplicates of...

    On to the front suspension where things get more dangrous. These are the front struts, your car probably has something very similar. A strut is shock and spring held together as an assembly instead of being separate (like on the rear suspension). This makes packaging the front suspension easier for engineers and assembly, it makes it more difficult for replacement and disassembly. A strut, in this case, consists of the strut body (yellow) that houses the shock absorber (pink), a strut mount (orange), and has upper/lower spring perches (blue) that hold the spring (red, for a reason) in place. The spring provides upward pressure to keep your car off the ground, the shock absorber dampens the impacts of the road on you/the car. These parts are all held together in compression via this large nut at the top of the strut mount that connects to the shock absorber. These parts need to be disassembled (spoiler, maybe). Some of you may see where this is going... A spring that can hold up a car and help absorb the forces of hitting a pothole at highway speeds being held in compression has a lot of potential energy.

    WARNING: The stunts you are about to see are performed by professionals in a controlled environment with medical personnel on hand. Do not attempt this at home.

    The home mechanic way to disassemble a strut is to place it between sets of old tires to absorb the release of the spring's energy. I should have also placed a 5th tire on top above the spring so that it didn't pop up, but I didn't have one on hand. Instead I put on my full face racing helmet and stood as well away as possible.

    Again, do not try this at home; if something were to go wrong at best you'd get a busted lip and maybe lose a couple of teeth, at worst it'd knock you out, you'd crumple into a heap, hit your head on concrete and die.

    Nut removed and... nothing happens. This is worse than it releasing as now you have a spring in compression with nothing but corrosion and rust holding it together, waiting for you to be unprepared so it can strike. So I grab the crowbar I keep on hand, knowing this can happen, and get near the bottom of the strut (safest place to be in this case that isn't outside the building) and gently poke/prod/pry at the upper spring perch until it lets go and releases enough energy to move all four tires and send the upper perch and strut mount sliding across the floor. Note, the strut mount on the far right was kicked back into frame after being another 6 feet off to the right. Isn't physics fun?

    Repeat with the other strut.

    In the past the shock absorber inside the strut housing was replaceable, as is the case here, now days the strut housing doubles as the shock absorber housing and so the entire strut is typically replaced as a unit instead of taking it apart. Since I need to replace the shock inside the housing with a heavier duty model that has a longer stroke and install new springs to lift the front suspension, I needed to disassemble this strut. Only... upon attempting to remove the nut that holds the shock inside the strut body I find that no amount of effort, cussing, or penetrant oil, will release it and therefore it has rust welded itself in place. So I've ordered new strut housings for a 1991 Corolla that should fit and be the same size as they don't make replacement struts for the Tercel any longer. The old front shocks were, predictably, blown so while the struts are now useless, I'll still cut them open to get the shock shaft out as perfectly round, hardened steel shafts are great to keep on hand for other projects/fabrication.
    In the continued thread of duplicate/wrong parts. I have two sets of strut mounts, one correct one incorrect, because when I ordered these parts I ordered a set of strut mounts when I meant to order a set of upper spring perches. The perches are on the way now, the mounts don't fit this car and will go to someone else just like the steering rack bushings.

    While at the front of the car I go ahead and loosen any other suspension bolts to prepare for the polyurethane bushings and, what the heck, use a bungee cord to mock up the location for the smaller, but higher capacity Honda Civic radiator I'll be using. Then moved on to lengthening the steering shaft to meet up with the now lower steering rack that dropped 2" down when the crossmember was spaced down to fit the larger engine. There's some room to work with between the upper and lower limits of adjustability in the shaft, so find a sweet spot in the middle to add your section of steel you'll weld in place. Time spent getting everything set as perfectly as feasible is time well invested to prevent issues later. Weld it together, let it cool, then hide your shame; because remember kids, a grinder and paint turns you into the welder you ain't. The welds are fine, penetrated fully, and have no porosity, they just aren't "pretty", but then again I don't post pictures of overheated stainless rainbow welds to instagram for likes either.

    Spent the rest of the day using Corroseal to chemically turn rust to magnetite on the rear suspension (it smells like vinegar, I hate that smell), making it (and my arms and the concrete under the Tercel) turn black in the process.

    A weekend of progress earns a glass of...

    7 votes
    1. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      A well deserved glass of "THE GOOD 𝒮𝒽𝒾𝓉", indeed. ;)

      A well deserved glass of "THE GOOD 𝒮𝒽𝒾𝓉", indeed. ;)

      2 votes
  2. inwardpath
    Link
    Put some serving cabinets together to house my tea/teaware and alcohol/barware. I'm super satisfied with the outcome and excited to gain all that space back from my countertops and other areas....

    Put some serving cabinets together to house my tea/teaware and alcohol/barware. I'm super satisfied with the outcome and excited to gain all that space back from my countertops and other areas.

    Donated a car full of stuff to a donation center to free up room so I can start on the next batch!

    5 votes
  3. [4]
    autumn
    Link
    I hosted my first cycling cruise as part of the meetup I started this month. It went well, even though it was pretty chilly. I have plans to ride with one of the ladies I met there tonight, and it...

    I hosted my first cycling cruise as part of the meetup I started this month. It went well, even though it was pretty chilly. I have plans to ride with one of the ladies I met there tonight, and it sounds like both of them want to go on the overnight camping trip in early May.

    After that, I ran into some other old biking friends at a brewery, my partner met us there, and we hung out for the rest of the night. Good times hanging out with them!

    Sunday was another bike ride (to the pizza place), then a dog agility lesson (first of the year), followed by dinner with friends. It’s so nice to be actively social again. I’m a textbook extrovert, so I woke up today feeling ready to tackle another day and see more people this week/end.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      HotPants
      Link Parent
      My god, I don't even know you, and now I want to come on this overnight camping trip! Do they get to cozy with you in your renovated camper? Is it a remote, bike accessible tent only spot?

      My god, I don't even know you, and now I want to come on this overnight camping trip!

      Do they get to cozy with you in your renovated camper? Is it a remote, bike accessible tent only spot?

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        autumn
        Link Parent
        The bike camping trips are so much fun and my primary reason for getting really into biking the past several years. If you’re ever in North Carolina, hit me up! This spot is a primitive campsite,...

        The bike camping trips are so much fun and my primary reason for getting really into biking the past several years. If you’re ever in North Carolina, hit me up!

        This spot is a primitive campsite, so we’ll arrive and leave by bike. Although, I consider bike camping anything involving bikes and sleeping in a campground. I’m very loose with the term because I like it to be accessible to as many people as possible. Touring is a bit more of a strict term (usually carrying your own gear, going a decent distance, often paved roads or trails), and bikepacking (always carrying your own gear, usually gravel and/or dirt trails) even more so.

        4 votes
  4. HotPants
    Link
    Inspired by rules to buy an ebike, I rode my new emtb up a trail to the top of the hills at the back of my house. It was exhilarating.

    Inspired by rules to buy an ebike, I rode my new emtb up a trail to the top of the hills at the back of my house.

    It was exhilarating.

    4 votes
  5. [8]
    Surira
    Link
    Looked at more open houses in the Bay Area and having a minor meltdown feeling like I can never put down roots here. My partner and I are expecting in a few months and it's just impossible to...

    Looked at more open houses in the Bay Area and having a minor meltdown feeling like I can never put down roots here. My partner and I are expecting in a few months and it's just impossible to afford a home around here. Yes, we could move to the middle of nowhere, but our jobs wouldn't let us do that at the moment. We want to stay here and we actually do quite well, all things considered, but when houses are going for 150% over asking (all cash!) routinely and now with interest rates rising, we just are feeling so overwhelmed. We're thinking about bidding on something this week and the amount we'd need to offer just feels insane when I have family where I grew up buying more house for 1/8th the cost. And it's not even that nice of a place!

    Sorry, end vent...

    4 votes
    1. [7]
      autumn
      Link Parent
      Any particular reason for not renting? Are the prices just as bad? Personally I don’t think I’ll ever end up owning a home, but I also don’t intend to have children. I chuck whatever extra money I...

      Any particular reason for not renting? Are the prices just as bad? Personally I don’t think I’ll ever end up owning a home, but I also don’t intend to have children. I chuck whatever extra money I have into savings instead of a mortgage.

      2 votes
      1. [6]
        Surira
        Link Parent
        I've been renting for >15 years now and we're old enough to want to start building equity. I wasn't gungho on kids but we're going for it now and I want to build a future for them with a stable...

        I've been renting for >15 years now and we're old enough to want to start building equity. I wasn't gungho on kids but we're going for it now and I want to build a future for them with a stable community. I've been saving as much as possible all that time and it still isn't enough to buy something.

        3 votes
        1. [5]
          AugustusFerdinand
          Link Parent
          With more and more signs, and people well versed in the subject, pointing toward the current lunacy being a bubble very much about to/in need of popping, buying a house right now runs directly...

          With more and more signs, and people well versed in the subject, pointing toward the current lunacy being a bubble very much about to/in need of popping, buying a house right now runs directly counter to the idea of building equity.

          Right now mortgage rates are low, but there are calls to raise them significantly to slow down/reign in an absolutely unsustainable growth rate in the price of housing. So there's the risk between buying now at lower rates, but overpaying for the house (and having negative equity when the bubble bursts) or buying later when the house is more affordable, but at a possibly higher rate. While it's unlikely for this bubble to be a 2008 level drop (that didn't drop as far as it should have), there is a correction coming.

          3 votes
          1. Surira
            Link Parent
            Even the 2008 bubble bursting didn't lower house prices in the areas I'm looking by more than ~1% or so. Political decisions made here by home owners have made it next to impossible to have a...

            Even the 2008 bubble bursting didn't lower house prices in the areas I'm looking by more than ~1% or so. Political decisions made here by home owners have made it next to impossible to have a bubble bursting have an actual effect on prices because there's never enough supply to go around. I know you're right generally speaking, but this area is different from all evidence I have

            2 votes
          2. [3]
            streblo
            Link Parent
            I'm not super well-versed in American real estate, but don't you guys have 30 year fixed-rate mortgages available? If you can afford a down payment it doesn't seem like a horrible idea if you plan...

            I'm not super well-versed in American real estate, but don't you guys have 30 year fixed-rate mortgages available? If you can afford a down payment it doesn't seem like a horrible idea if you plan on staying in an area. When interest rates start to climb they will push house prices down but also your borrowing power.

            1. AugustusFerdinand
              Link Parent
              30 year fixed rate is the norm, 15 year is also an option. Problem are all the interest is front loaded, so a $400k mortgage over a 30 year term at 4.5% has a monthly payment of about $2k. Your...

              30 year fixed rate is the norm, 15 year is also an option. Problem are all the interest is front loaded, so a $400k mortgage over a 30 year term at 4.5% has a monthly payment of about $2k. Your first month's payment has $500 going to the principal and $1500 going to interest. If the bubble pops right after you buy and the value of your house drops 25% you're underwater by $100k and it'll take a decade (or more) to recover. The 2008 collapse wasn't allowed to fully drop (bailouts) to what it should have been and so recovery, and this new bubble, occurred pretty quickly. So even if it pops and there's a 2008 style "fast recovery" there will be at least a decade before the value of the house gets back to the purchase price of $400k. In that decade $240k worth of payments have been made and only $80k actually went to the principal.

              To compare, lets say you wait a couple of years until the bubble pops and interest rates are higher, the same $400k house is now $300k and interest rate is 6% instead of 4.5%. Monthly payment is $1,800. Over the next decade you've made $216k in payments, $50k went to the principal, but the "fast recovery" (aka not allowing the market to correct itself) makes your house worth the same $400k if you'd bought it two years earlier and now you have $150k in equity.

              This is all based on a fast recovery/not allowing the market to actually correct itself. Reality would take two decades of payments to get $150k or so in equity as the market goes on with gentle waves of ups and downs instead of these back to back massive and unsustainable spikes.

              When you adjust for inflation the US median home price, post WW2, has always been $180k-200k. Every time it's creeped above that, it's crashed/corrected. It stayed that way after the correction in the 80's through the late 90's when it kept going up until the 2008 crash, but bailouts stopped it from getting back to normal and median only dropped to about $212k and did this upward spike we're back into now. At the pre-2008-crash-peak median prices were $300k, we're at $360k now.

              3 votes
            2. mtset
              Link Parent
              The problem isn't the rising rates themselves, but rather that you'll be paying 4.5% or whatever on a house that's $100k underwater. I actually did just buy a condo, and I fully expect to lose...

              The problem isn't the rising rates themselves, but rather that you'll be paying 4.5% or whatever on a house that's $100k underwater. I actually did just buy a condo, and I fully expect to lose some money in the medium term, but I also expect to keep making a tech salary for the next twenty years so I'm not that worried about it - and in the mean time I can actually attach stuff to my walls.

              1 vote
  6. knocklessmonster
    (edited )
    Link
    I finished a feature for my school project and learned that you can have a while loop check two or more conditions at once. I needed to randomly generate 4 numbers, and for some reason decided it...

    I finished a feature for my school project and learned that you can have a while loop check two or more conditions at once. I needed to randomly generate 4 numbers, and for some reason decided it was better to roll all four, check 2 against 1, check 3 against 1 and 2, then check 4 against 1, 2, and 3. We're designing a pizza restaurant website and wanted an option to create a pizza inspiration page that randomly generates a four topping pizza so you don't have to think about i after I had a passing thought about pizza-related analysis paralysis. It's literally just n-1 while loops to check each set of conditions, and I figured checking each last condition in order against the previously generated values was better than making one big-ass while loop.

    I finally got the neck of my brother's Epiphone Les Paul stabilized. Years ago we fashioned ourselves as DIY guitar techs, and the neck wound up with the truss rod completely loosened, so it was heavily bowed. Not such a great thing when you're playing on 11-48 strings and shift tunings often, as it'll take a few minutes to stabilize the tuning. Now I can at least take it from D standard to drop C and it'll be fine. I need to adjust the intonation, but will probably finalize that neck adjustment first.

    2 votes
  7. adi
    (edited )
    Link
    Worked on mkws themes, specifically used Plan 9 mk's regular expression targets in order the pack the themes in .tgz format for distribution. Also built a small https tunnel: package main import (...

    Worked on mkws themes, specifically used Plan 9 mk's regular expression targets in order the pack the themes in .tgz format for distribution. Also built a small https tunnel:

    package main
    
    import (
    	"crypto/tls"
    	"flag"
    	"log"
    	"net/http"
    	"net/http/httputil"
    	"net/url"
    	"os"
    )
    
    func main() {
    
    	f := flag.String("f", "", "listen host")
    	t := flag.String("t", "", "connect host")
    	crt := flag.String("c", "", "path to cert file")
    	key := flag.String("k", "", "path to key file")
    
    	flag.Parse()
    
    	if *f == "" {
    		flag.Usage()
    		os.Exit(1)
    	}
    	if *t == "" {
    		flag.Usage()
    		os.Exit(1)
    	}
    	if *crt == "" {
    		flag.Usage()
    		os.Exit(1)
    	}
    	if *key == "" {
    		flag.Usage()
    		os.Exit(1)
    	}
    
    	proxy := httputil.NewSingleHostReverseProxy(&url.URL{
    		Scheme: "http",
    		Host:   *t,
    	})
    
    	cert, err := tls.LoadX509KeyPair(*crt, *key)
    	if err != nil {
    		log.Println(err)
    		os.Exit(1)
    	}
    
    	config := &tls.Config{Certificates: []tls.Certificate{cert}, NextProtos: []string{"h2", "http/1.1"}}
    	listener, err := tls.Listen("tcp", *f, config)
    	if err != nil {
    		log.Println(err)
    		os.Exit(1)
    	}
    	defer listener.Close()
    
    	err = http.Serve(listener, proxy)
    	if err != nil {
    		log.Println(err)
    		os.Exit(1)
    	}
    }
    

    Build with go build httpst.go.

    I run it as doas httpst -f adi.onl:443 -t 127.0.0.1:9000 -c /etc/ssl/adi.onl.crt -k /etc/ssl/private/adi.onl.key

    1 vote