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19 December 2006
I know this hasn't been updated in awhile - sorry to all the fans out there. The motor took quite a bit longer at the machine shop this time around, but it made it out. The main things that should make a difference are a decent head job (intake valve guides were replaced), the pistons had about 0.100" shaved off the top of the dome (to lower compression), and it was all rebalanced and we are much more confident in the work.

With a great turnout, we had the motor assembled with all new gaskets and bearings and installed in the car in 5 days. Everything went smoothly and it was nice to have about 10 different people show up at different times throughout the week.

Before we put the motor in, we decided to remove the power steering system completely. We aren't concerned about the increased effort as we ran last year's One Lap without power steering. We dropped weight and complexity by eliminating the pump, reservoir, and lines. We maintained the power rack as it has a faster ratio than a manual rack; we just looped the input hose to the output so the fluid just circulates within itself. Clean.

Once it was installed, we wired up the Go-Tech standalone engine management system and were able to eliminate the stock wiring harness and stock fuel and injection computers. It didn't start the first time we turned the key (imagine that) as it turned out our starter was bad. Once we replaced it and tweaked with the starting map on the ECU, it fired up! It runs, albeit very roughly. Without hooking up a wideband oxygen sensor, we couldn't tune it effectively. When we get back after the holiday break, we will continue with the project - look for engine tuning, a bigger radiator, new injectors and new headers!
-Damen Hattori

31 October 2006
Not much exciting to report lately - the bumpers are very time consuming and not that much fun, but the work will be worth the weight savings. We also are in the middle of removing the door skins and support beams in the door. We'll be adding front side bars to the roll cage, in the interest of safety. The motor is still at the shop, and the gears are being worked on. Once all this stuff comes back, things will move fast. Until then, we're stuck playing with foam...
-Damen Hattori

9 October 2006
In the interest of weight savings, we want to remove the bumpers, remove all the weight we can from them, and re-install. Summary:

We are still having great attendance and the project is moving along nicely. The goal is to have the motor installed before Christmas.
-Damen Hattori

6 October 2006
Space is tight at Garcia Alfa Racing, so Dr. Barron (our faculty sponsor) helped us move the Alfa (via truck and trailer) to his house. Minor work will continue there until the engine has returned from the machine shop.
-Damen Hattori

3 October 2006
We finished disassembling the 3.0L and did some cleaning in the engine bay. Summary:

Garcia said he would be able to find extra pistons and liners so we loaded up all the pieces and Garcia will take it over to the shop for us!
-Damen Hattori

26 September 2006
Today a group went out to Garcia's to continue disassembly on the 3.0L. Summary:

Graciously Andy Garcia is going to give us some pistons and liners to replace the ones that were scratched and gouged. After next time, we should be able to send the motor to the machine shop.
-Damen Hattori

19 September 2006
The goal for the day was to remove the transaxle and pull apart the gear stack so we could send the gears out to be lightened and hardened. Summary:

The gears are all boxed up and we'll send them out to Salinas Valley Precision in California - they did a great job with our flywheel and some custom parts.
-Damen Hattori

12 September 2006
The goal for today was to figure out what is wrong with our 3.0L so that we know what to tell the machine shop. We had seven people working on the car today, for sure a record! Summary:

It was sure a nice change from last year to have so many people. We are really excited to see what we can get done if this level of participation persists.
-Damen Hattori

7 September 2006
If you read the One Lap write up from last year, you'll know that the motor in the Alfa is a 2.5L sourced from one of Garcia's project cars. Well, he sold the car to which the motor belonged over the summer, so needless to say we needed to give it back. Lucas and I spent the afternoon decommissioning the Alfa by removing the 2.5L. It seems we've become pretty adept at motor work - we had it completely removed in a little over 5 hours. The next time the Alfa drives itself, it should be with a supercharged 3.0L!

The first SAE meeting with new members is coming soon; it should be interesting to see how many new people we really have this year.
-Damen Hattori

1 September 2006
Welcome to the new year; the Rice Society of Automotive Engineers has big plans. The blog will be slightly different this year - more of a highlights than a play-by-play. Today was the activities fair on campus and because we were able to display the car, we had over 20 people sign up! If we get even 5 more to show up consistently we will be in great shape. Our big plans include:

Stay tuned!
-Damen Hattori