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Thursday, October 30, 2008


Make an HHO system actually work, win one million dollars!

Now here's an interesting site. A New Zealand engineer has thrown down a challenge to anyone who claims that he can get more miles per gallon from using an onboard hydrogen / HHO generator. If you can make such a thing actually work, he'll pay you one million dollars for showing your HHO generator can improve gas mileage. As they say, "Terms and conditions apply." Anyone entering the challenge would need to pay a testing fee to cover expenses, the device has to boost gas mileage by 25%, and it can't cause damage to the car. Like me, he's pretty sure nobody is going to claim that prize. The site is worth a read to anyone interested in hydrogen - or scams.


Monday, October 27, 2008


A Civic update

The Civic is back on the road. It turned out the stock radiator tanks had started leaking. I am not 100% sure if I had misdiagnosed the head gasket or if the head gasket blew and caused a marginal radiator to start leaking. The stock radiator in a Honda Civic is an aluminum center section bonded to plastic end tanks. I hate this design. There's no way to repair one of these when it leaks, and it's way too easy for them to spring a leak. Now I don't like spending excessive amounts of money, but I also don't like replacing a part with a design defect with one that has the same flaw. I understand there is one fairly inexpensive parts store radiator that is all aluminum, but I decided to go all out, drive down to Summit Racing, and pick up a new Fluidyne aluminum radiator for the Civic.

You may be wondering how it fits. The answer is, "Pretty well." All the mounting tabs line up and it does drop in. There are a couple of slightly weird "gotchas" that can make for extra trips to the parts store, though. For one thing, the hose barbs are a slightly larger outer diameter. If you try to put old hoses over them, they won't fit. New hoses are a stretch but you can put them in. And don't reuse the stock corbin clamps - you'll need to get a set of conventional hose clamps to clear the barbs on the hoses. You also won't be able to reuse the stock radiator cap - not really a gotcha as Fluidyne includes one, but if you even need to buy a new cap, you can't go to the parts store and ask for a stock replacement. All in all it's a pretty good fit.

This radiator wasn't cheap, and it's definitely overdoing things for a stock Civic. If I ever decide to throw a supercharger or turbo kit on it, though, at least I'll have enough cooling power to handle it. I don't really know if I ever will do such a thing, but it's nice to be prepared.


Saturday, October 11, 2008


Blew a head gasket on the Civic... (and how to set a '95 Civic motor to top dead center)

So today I'll be seeing if I can change that out. One thing I've learned while working on this car is that if the manual calls for doing something that looks impossible, there's often a little secret to how you can accomplish it. And the task is easy if you know the secret, impossible otherwise. For example, the directions for removing the head call for setting the #1 piston to TDC. Now, it looks like it's almost impossible to turn the crankshaft with the engine in the car - the pulley is practically up against the inner fender, no good way to grab it or get a wrench on it when you look the engine compartment.

Well, here's the secret. Take a 17 mm socket and put it on an extension bar. Now, look at the plastic lining the driver's side front fenderwell. There will be a cutout in the plastic that looks like a six pointed star. Stick the socket in through this and you can get it on the crank bolt to rotate the crank.


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