Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's a Dangerous World Out There

The Honda Civic has been giving me fits again - it has a really loud rattle at idle, and it's been getting worse.  Sure, I'd love to be able to work on the vette again - to try and get back to the electrical, but it's not going to happen until I have a stable method of transportation.  I borrowed what is called a "mechanics stethoscope" - it's a mutation off of a doctors stethoscope, but instead of the diaphragm at the bottom (the thing you put on your back), it has a loose rod.

Here's how it works.  You put the usual binaural "ear pieces" where they'd normally go (if you put them elsewhere, I do NOT want to ever use your mechanics stethoscope).  Then, when the rattle is happening on the car, you simply place the rod onto various parts of the engine or components - making absolute certainty that you do NOT get it stuck in moving parts such as fans or belts.  You will hear a slightly amplified form of the rattle depending on how close to the rattling part you really are.

Here's my experience.  I went out with this to check the loud rattle on the civic.  Since it was cold (14 degrees), I put the ear pieces to my ears before I went out to the car so I could also put on the balaclava.  I'd suggest NOT doing this - every time I bumped the bottom end of the stethoscope, there was a really loud "thump" that seemed to cause pain.  Once I had the car started and the hood up, I began methodically setting the rod onto various components.  The engine block was first (new engine, wanted to make sure it was okay), transmission was next (wanted to make sure there wasn't a bad bearing or torque converter going on, or a stripped gear), and then the usual suspects.  It all stopped with the alternator.  It seemed to be the loudest.  The tool seems like it worked well.  I needed to remove the alternator to get it checked.

Here's the result.  I titled this post "It's a Dangerous World Out There".  So where was the danger?  Aside from not getting the thing caught in any moving parts, what could possibly have happened?  Well, I identified the alternator as a potential problem (and then saw the pulley on the alternator sitting at a bad angle).  So, I decided to remove it.  While I was laying underneath the car, clothing starting to stick to the concrete beneath me, with a large wrench to remove the alternator bolts, and not having much feeling due to the cold at this point, I dropped the wrench.  Normally this is not a problem.  However, I've been in the cold for a bit so the bridge of my nose is numb (right where the wrench hit), and I'm already frustrated.  Luckily, I was wearing glasses, which broke the fall of the wrench.  I rolled out from underneath the car, bent the glasses back to shape, felt kind of odd about my nose (no blood from the inside, so it's not broken), and went back to work.

Every time I stood up, I felt a little weird.  When I finished up as much as I could (the alternator is still there and needs to be disconnected), I went inside to console my sweet wife (another failure).  Looking in the mirror later that weekend told me I did break the skin.  Apparently, it's hard to take me seriously when I've been hit right between the eyes.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Steering Column ... Tilt / Telescopic Reassembled

Disclaimer : I am not Jim Shea - I do not have his understanding of steering columns, nor could I possibly pretend to do so.  If anyone is looking at GM steering columns from the mid-60's to the late 70's, I'd strongly suggest a visit to, since Jim Shea provided many hours of work to the public.  I believe he worked for Saginaw (the company that built the steering columns for GM during that period), and his hours of labor back then paid off big dividends for the rest of the Corvette community (or anyone rebuilding a GM column for that matter).

Since you are still reading, you are probably wondering what my problem was.  Obviously, it was in the steering column.  On my C3 Corvette, I took the steering wheel off to clean it, realized I had a horn contact retainer broken, and had to dismantle the column to get down to there.  While I was there, I had a lock cylinder to replace (I am re-keying the car as I go), so I had to take things a little bit further apart.  On the way into the dismantling, I thought I'd clean some of the components up, including a "sticking" turn signal.  The turn signal repair resulted in a separate post, and I started to put things back together again.  Unfortunately, after installing the lock cylinder, I couldn't get the key out.  The key-release was failing to allow everything to disengage.  Checking online, a 1977 Corvette steering column is not available.  I can order columns from others that don't match up, but should be close, but that was a $975 price tag I couldn't swallow.

Enter Jim Shea.  His documentation goes well beyond the factory installation manual, well beyond the factory service manual, and so far beyond the depth of the Haynes/Chiltons manuals that it's not even funny.  I knew I had to dismantle it, find what I thought was a broken part, and reassemble the column.  I tore it down to the tilt mechanism :

First, a few things.  In the above photo, you can see the tilt joint for the column.  I had to remove everything on the outside.  You can also see the key-release lever on the right side of the column.  This is simply a rotating (axis is down the centerline of the column, not perpendicular to the column), and it connects to the ignition rod on the left side of the column.  The joint sits in the actual column, with an external piece of plastic called the lower "bowl".

On the left side, inside the bowl but the outside of the column sleeve, is the ignition switch joint.  There are three pieces here, the shaft that connects to the actual ignition switch on top of the steering column (farther down the column), a guide (the ignition rod guide), and a key-like thing (the ignition rack).

So, I looked, and realized that (when I was making a silicon mold almost 10 years ago) I ended up getting silicon into the lower bowl housing, where the key release bar slid - and it was binding everything.  I grabbed my small files and cleaned it out, slapped some WD-40 into there, and ensure it rotated as needed.  Just a word of caution - the telescopic shaft comes right out.  If you don't need it, be very careful with it, you don't want grease all over your carpet.

I reassembled it, and tested (still no telescopic hardware installed, just the tilt, the upper bowl (where the turn signal switch sits) and everything below that.  The key release now works, and the turn signal works, everything is almost installed to the point I can install the telescopic parts of the steering column.  After finishing the telescopic, it's just a matter of cleaning up the steering wheel and putting it back on.  Looking good!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Alarm Switch Installed

Well, it's amazing what you can accomplish when you have a little time.  I was able to install the alarm lock cylinder into the fender (wires, lock retainer, and gasket), and I was able to get the hood hinges in place and connected to the body and the hood.

I need to figure out how to adjust the hood at this point, and then I can install the hood support (which I received - thanks, Corvette Central!), and then finish plumbing the carburetor.  That would leave simply the headlights, steering column reassembly, electrical testing, door glass adjustment (need to get the battery in place to do the adjustment, which is also why I needed to get the electrical tested, which is why I needed the alarm switch functional and installed).

So, here's my to-do list (yes, it has gotten to the point that it is very specific) :
  • Reassemble the Turn Signal Switch and Ignition Switch
  • Install the Tilt/Tele Steering Wheel Components
  • Have Someone Clean the Steering Wheel Leather (Not sure how expensive)
  • Install the Steering Wheel
  • Hood Adjustment
  • Plumb the Fuel-Filter-to-Carburetor Lines
  • Headlights
    • Obtain Ford Probe Headlight Motors (model year 1993 to 1997, about $60 for the set)
    • Wire up a Headlight Control Relay (from Napa, EC23 $15 and BK3007884 $9)
    • Manufacture a Bracket to Hold the Probe Headlight Motors (not sure how much this will cost)
    • Assemble the Electric Headlight System
    • Get the Headlight Bezels and Lids Painted to Match (at $300 a pint for the color coat alone)
    • Install Headlights Themselves
  • Probe Electrical Connections (before Adjusting the Door Glass)
  • Connect the Battery
  • Adjust the Door Glass
  • Disconnect the Battery
  • Install Door Panels
  • Ensure Interior Light Bulbs are in Working Order
  • Complete Air Ducts
  • Install the Drivers' Dash Panel
  • Obtain a Map Pocket ($85) for the Passengers' Side and Install (with Springs)
  • Install the Passengers' Side  Dash Panel
  • Bolt Down the Center Console
  • Bolt Down the Parking Brake Cover
  • Install Transmission Tunnel Covers
  • Bolt Down the Seats and Test
  • Connect the Battery and Test All Electrical Components (EXCEPT FOR STARTER)
  • Fill with coolant
  • Add Oil and Prime the Oil Pump
  • Add a LITTLE Gasoline to the Tank
  • Add Gear Oil to the Tremec TKO II
  • Add Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Lift Rear Wheels into the Air (don't want to have the transmission fail to disengage)
  • Connect the Battery
  • Put some Gasoline in a Glass cup in Preparation to Test Fire
  • Test Fire
  • Stop Engine
  • Engage Wheels with the Ground
  • Start, and Drive a Short Distance (less than a mile)
  • Return and Check the Oil
  • Raise the Back End
  • Run the Car in Gears for 20 Minutes Each (Transmission Break In)
  • Drop the Car
  • Check the Oil

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Steering Column - Coming Together

With some bad engineering drawings, a bad memory, and some skill with Tetris from growing up, I finally figured out how the steering column's Tilt/Telescopic components fit together.  There were a few steps to get me to a point that the Chevrolet manuals talked about :

  1. Find out how the light dimmer switch shaft sets into the housing.
  2. Find out how the turn signal switch connects to the dimmer switch (hint - it uses a plastic carrier that sets into a plastic shell that the tilt/telescopic lever runs through).
  3. Understand how the wiring fits into the wiper/turn signal switch carrier housing (that also houses the ignition lock cylinder)
  4. Locate a suitable pivot pin for the wiper/turn signal switch that connects the switch to the housing.
  5. Put that all together in one fell swoop (you kind of have to do this - without the housing, the parts will fall out, and without the parts in the right place, the housing won't connect.
For the pivot pin, I had lost mine, and found out that no one sells a replacement.  Goofing off, I realized that my Honda Civic (metric) had six bolts for the timing belt cover, and (since I had replaced the engine this year) I had the old bolts laying around.  Those bolts fit into the threads for the housing, and the shoulder on the bolt had a slightly larger diameter (that's a good thing) than what it should be (it wouldn't fit into the switch).  I grabbed my drill, slapped the bolt into the chuck, and grabbed a file.  I basically turned the shoulder without a lathe until it was the right size.

Then I ran out to grab the ratchet to install it..... and found the old pivot bolt still in the socket from nine months ago!  I compared them, and they were almost identical, the original had an extra pivot pin on the end (e.g. two shoulders of different sizes with a threaded section sandwiched in between).  The "replacement" would have still worked, but I opted for the original (anyone wonder why?).

I set about installing everything, and had success in getting those parts completely installed (complete with a new ignition lock cylinder).  Next up, finishing the rest of the assembly, which I can now use the AIM for (the assembly instruction/engineering diagrams at the factory).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Back to the Corvette - The Steering Column

I started trying to re-assemble the steering column, but didn't get anywhere.  Well, maybe I did.  I started checking the wiper switch, found that it wasn't working as the wiring diagram said it should, and started looking for new ones.  I failed to find one I could buy.

Over the weekend, I was chatting with my father, who asked me, "well, why not just rebuild your switch?  You've just about rebuilt everything else without knowing how it was engineered!"

It took a few days for that to fully sink in, and this morning, I asked myself, "why not?"

I took the switch completely out of the housing (just down to the plastic/contact pieces), and grabbed a drill bit (had to be the right size).  I started to drill the rivets (where you don't drill all the way through, you simply drill far enough into the rivet for it to separate), and used a pocket knife (great edge, not flimsy like an x-acto knife, perfect for prying apart without breaking the surrounding plastics).  That got my contacts off of the plastic frame for the switch.  Other than paint that had gotten into the switch and a wire that someone had cut, my switch was actually in great shape.

I used a wire brush to clean the contacts.

Before installing things, I thought it would be easier to solder in a new chunk of wire in the one that had been clipped.  I broke out the soldering iron, solder, heat shrink tubing, and slapped that puppy back together.  I added the contacts back to the switch frame, placed the eyelets, grabbed the rivets, and popped it all back together.

I needed to test it, but, since my voltmeter was not working (translation: I was too lazy to go buy a new 9v battery), I opted to get a better visual test for this.  I ran down and grabbed my Arduino Nano, connected the common point for the switch connector to ground, and slapped a modified button code onto it that defaulted with a pull-up resistor on three inputs, and three outputs to LED's.  This way, if the wire wasn't connected to ground, the LED would light up.  If it was connected to ground, the LED would turn off.

It gave me a great visual way to ensure that it was connected properly.  Now I can start to figure out the entire reassembly.  It will take some time, but once I get it, I'll have the steering column put back together fairly quickly, and then I can finally do the electrical test before connecting the battery to adjust the windows.  Getting one small step closer!

Friday, August 30, 2013

CIVIC: Almost Alive

Well, the Civic is almost alive.  It runs, and I've driven it almost 20 miles since the swap.  However, it's only legal right now because I have a permit on it.  The reality is - it failed the safety and the emissions checks.

Emissions Inspection :

When I finally snuck it in to get it inspected, I had completely forgotten that if you disconnect the battery for any extended period, the computer's memory completely resets, and all of the emissions equipment settles into a "Not Ready" state until you have enough regular driving conditions on the car for it to figure out how it is doing.  So, it failed the emissions because everything was in a "not ready" state.

Safety Inspection :

The safety inspection wasn't as bad as it could have been.  Shoot, the last time it was inspected, I was surprised it passed because the tires were so worn out.  I didn't expect them to pass this time, and wasn't shocked when that didn't happen.  I'll get it to Les Schwab in the next few days and then get it registered.

Result :

Today's drive was a good, longer than 9 months of driving kind of drive.  I put 15 miles on it in a half hour, but none was freeway.  I have a 15 day period to get the good driving results in, and get it registered.  Then I'll be completely back on my feet.  It was good city driving, and the car didn't want to move as easily at first, but slowly started to loosen up again.  I think it will be back to normal within a week with my driving habits.

That said, it's allowed me to work on the Corvette a little bit - and I was able to get that alarm key set up, and duplicated.  Now, I just need to install the switch and wiring, and then hit the electrical with some probes to ensure things are lined up in the right places.  Perhaps after a good day of work on it on Monday can get me feeling better about it.  I might be able to get the steering column put back together.  Hooray!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Corvette - Alarm Key Working

So, I had purchased an alarm switch off of eBay a while back for the Corvette (while working on the Civic).  I finally got around to having a lock smith take a look at the switch (I had no key, and it was advertised as "filling a hole" and was in "rough shape" according to the photos).  I had held the thing in my hand numerous times, and I've been wondering if it's possible to restore it to functionality.

Well, I finally overcame my fear and headed to the lock smith.  $26 later, I had the following :

  • A functional key to fit the switch - I needed to have them re-key, but didn't have that key with me.
  • Electrical testing operates as designed.
  • A feel good "That's the cleanest set of tumblers I've ever seen on something that old - I think they just never used it."
I'd install it, but I have one thing left to do - get it re-keyed to match the new ignition keys. Once that is done, it's time to install it, check the electrical, and then connect a battery so that I can get the window glass adjusted and the door and dash panels installed.  One small step, but it's been a hurdle.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Civic Status: running, SRS/CEL both clean

Okay, after breaking the valve cover bolt, I had to drill the bolt without touching the valve train/head, and then back it out.  I was successfully able to do that, dropped in the replacement bolt, tightened things down (very carefully, this time), and then crossed my fingers.....

... the car started, no CEL (not even the SRS, this time, either), and it seemed to be running much better.  Next up - grease the bearings on the wheels, pull a lug bolt and replace it, and go get it registered.  I don't know if the tires will pass an inspection, but if they don't, that would be it to be back on the road.  An A/C recharge would be next on the list, but it's workable without it.  So, three things to do before I can get back to the Corvette :
  1. Lug bolt/nuts
  2. Tires replaced
  3. Recharge/oil the A/C lines
This is phenomenal news!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Civic Timing Belt Gear Differences

So, with the P0171 (or flash code 54 on the CEL/Check Engine Light method), I suddenly realized the fluctuation sensor (CFK) on the civic needed teeth closer to it, and didn't have them.  I knew I had to tear into the engine, thinking I'd put the timing gear/pulley on backwards, and took it all apart.  When I pulled the gear off, I knew why I was having problems - they weren't even the same.  I called the dealership (who kept telling me "I've never seen one of these fail before" and trying to convince me I didn't need one), and $77 later, I had the part to compare.

Wow, that is much more like it.  The one on the left is what came with the replacement engine.  The one on the right is the one that came from the dealership.

Though the engine block was identical, it was still a Japanese-spec'd engine, meaning it met Japanese specifications - and their computers probably didn't care about the fluctuations on the crank sensor, and (I think) didn't even have the sensor in there.  The one on the right has what looks like a bicycle sprocket on one end, and that is the difference.  Things looked much better with the new gear in place, but I am still unable to test it as I snapped one of the valve cover bolts off in the head trying to get it tightened down so that it wouldn't leak oil like it did before.  We'll see how it works when I can drill it out and tap it for a new one.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Adoption Profile: Active

Hey, my lovely wife and I are working towards adoptions.  A few people may find themselves in awkward, difficult, and very trying decisions about adoption, and we are looking for situations like that that we can be a part of.  It's not an easy thing to do, but it is possible, and we'd like the world to know that we are there for them!  Please keep us in mind if you come across a situation that needs a set of potential adoptive parents!  We'd love to be involved!  Our profile (if you want to know) :


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Civic: Runs, with coolant leak (still) and CEL

So, I decided to try and start the car.   As long as I don't run it long enough to heat up, I should be good.  Hooked up the battery, charged it for an hour or two, and cranked away.  It fired.  Wooohooo!  Wait a minute.... is that a check engine light?  And that loud noise... sounds like an exhaust leak.  So, here's what I had :
  • Exhaust leak - I swear I put this thing back together the way it was taken apart.  Checked all of the joints, and they looked normal to me.  Running the engine for a minute told me it was around the catalytic converter, right below the exhaust manifold.  I don't think I loosened the catalytic converter flange to the exhaust pipe itself.  I do know I took the exhaust manifold off of the cc.
  • CEL - My check-engine-light is on.  I'm not sure if this is a result of (a) the timing, (b) the new crank position sensor, or (c) the fact that I had the battery disconnected for months on end (reset the computer).  I'll figure this out, and it is minimal.
  • Timing - I decided with the CEL to check the timing.  Timing is supposed to be about 15 degrees BTDC.  Mine was 15 degrees before that.  (sigh).  Got that adjusted to where I was within 2 degrees, and that seemed better.
  • Cooland leak - I have to fix the radiator, and also either the heater core or a hose (those last two are on the inside of the cabin, and I had a bit of antifreeze soaking into the carpet).  I'll get to that if I can figure out the previous stuff, because this one means I'll have to take the dash board apart.
After adjusting the timing, I still had the CEL, and the exhaust leak.  I decided to tackle the exhaust leak.  Again, I had run the car for a minute to try and isolate the leak.  I decided to simply remove the exhaust manifold.  Once it was off, I realized what I had done.

Please, in the name of smartness, be smart about being smart.  When I take something apart, I keep the screws, bolts, and nuts as close to the original location as I can.  In this case, I had taken the four nuts and washers holding the manifold to the catalytic converter when I had taken them apart, and put the nuts/washers back onto the studs so I didn't lose them.  When I reinstalled it, I took the nuts off from the studs, dropped the manifold into position, and bolted it up.

Imagine my surprise when I took the manifold off, and realized the WASHERS were still on the studs, when they should have been on the other side of the manifold.  I quickly (to hide my embarrassment) remove the washers, position the manifold, throw the washers into position, nuts, and bolt it down.  Went to start it, and it sounded SO much better!

Still, I have two issues :
  • Check Engine Light - I need to pull codes to see what trouble code is being thrown
  • Fix the coolant leaks - this means I have to dismantle the dashboard, take apart the heater core assembly, fix what I find, then fix the radiator.  Should be a major task (though not as major as the engine replacement).
So there you have it.  The car runs.  We'll get it running better.

Civic: The Car that Keeps on Giving Back to the Community

I did obtain a replacement engine block.  I trust those guys quite a bit after working with them.  They were honest, they went out of their way to help get the right things, and they were willing to work with me.  That meant I had an engine block to work with.  The problem was that I had to detach it from the transmission, replace seals (cam and crank), replace the water pump, and the usual tune up stuff.

So, I set about getting things squared away :

Then, in the middle of all of that grease and dirt, the cutest little thing appeared :

We did finish getting things ready (I hope I got the timing belt in the right place), and re-attached it to the transmission.  A few days later, it went into the car.  Some bolts here and there, replacing all of the engine mounts, re-attaching the plumbing and electrical, aligning the pulleys and belts, re-installing the air box, installing the exhaust, and the intake (the designer for that one should be shot, hung, and then thrown to the sharks).

So, with the Civic buttoned up, and before starting, I had to get the fluids in.

  1. Oil and filter .... check.
  2. Automatic Transmission fluid ... check.
  3. Coolant .... check.
Climbed into the car, and.... why does it smell so much like antifreeze after sitting for six months?  Anyway, I picked up and moved the hubcap over to the passengers foot bay.  Thats when I found the problem.  I had about a quarter inch of coolant in the passengers foot bay.  Vacuumed it out (shop vacs are awesome), and watched it drip from the heater core area.  I'm hoping it's not the heater core itself, but a hose line.  I'm not climbing in there to pinpoint the problem until it dries out.

I climb back out and check the radiator (just in case)... and it's cracked, too.

So, all of that work, and the Civic isn't done yet.  Getting things in the right places, that's been a bit tough, and it's been a little daunting (at times), but it's close.

Again, I really did a number to this poor little car, and it will be good to have it back on the road again. Just have to figure that out, and then see if it actually starts.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pouring Rain Yet?

Well, it is said that it never rains, but it pours.  Yay.

Before I can get back to the corvette, I have to fix a honda civic.  I finally got the engine pulled on the civic (things were looking good before I got it out), and then.....


The block is spider cracked all over the back side.  So much for a repair.  A good friend referenced a company in Centerville that deals specifically with these "metric motors".  Not zure how many places I've called.  The first one said "Yeah, we can get you a replacement motor, 12 month warrantee, and fully checked for $850.  The second shop said "don't trust the first one you called, every motor we've had from them has been junk", and then priced it at $2.1k.  They all seemed to be about the price of that second one, until I called that last one.  They could get me a bare block for $150.  Of course, I'd have to have the block checked out, decked, sleeved, and install new bearings, but I finally felt comfortable with these guys.  I'll probably get their 1.6l used engine for $1.3k from them, it feels more reliable, and they aren't trying to charge me to remove an engine that's already removed.  ("Free towing"?  Why move the car when the engine isn't in it?)

So, the block is hosed, but I have a possibility of another one on the horizon.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


As frustrated as I get with working on the house, or trying to deal with a lawyer or a painter that doesn't understand the poor job, I have a woman in my life that more than makes up for that. Her name is Shan, and she is amazing. She has soothed my mind many times when work has gotten to me, or when I am about to face news. She has her heart in the right place, she has a mind that functions very well, and she has a personality to match! (The fact that she is beautiful is also a plus).

So, I ask, has a woman like this ever existed before? or is she the best ever?

    Having you hold my heart is a blessing to me.
    Having you near makes me the man most lucky.
    Having your eyes look deep, brings smile to my soul.
    Having your fingers' caress makes me so whole.
    Having your heart beat close is love unto mine.
    Having you close sends giggles down the spine.
    Having your hands' gentle touch quivers my knee.
    Having your lips whisper love makes me giddy.
    Having your breath warm my cheek brings desire to kiss.
    Having you hold me close puts me in bliss.
    Having your arms around me results in an embrace,
    Having you close makes me want to stay at your place.
    Having you snuggle fills my heart with glee,
    Having your love is something I want enternally.
(this is a previous blog message, but due to blogger's inability to import anything, I'm using this as a new post).

Corvette Geekery

Well, being on call this week, and I had an evening of Rain that I suddenly found myself bored (that happens so rarely lately).  I had read a post about merging USB drives and toy cars together (it was as an FYI), and thought I'd give it a go myself.

It only took a couple of hours, but I built one out.  Thought it was pretty cool!

The big problem was I put the USB key in it upside down, and it wasn't exactly straight.  All in all, though, it was a pretty cool new toy.  The wheels still work (it's a functional toy car, except it has a really long, really big exhaust pipe that is square).  It functions perfectly as a USB drive, too.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

3D printers and your car

Working on the steering column to verify that the electrical is working, I had to change some parts out.  One future project is to utilize a 3D laser scanner and a 3D plastic printer to construct new parts as needed, and I had set about generating some parts for the steering column.  I've been able to generate the 3D definition in OpenSCAD (POVRay, graphic design, spacial orientation, and drafting all paid off quickly - it took me 24 hours to generate a functional and complex 3D model of the steering column part).

Next up is to have the fender alarm re-keyed to match the rest of the car and get it installed, and reassemble the steering column to prep for an electrical system check.

Also, if anyone is willing to contribute to the 3D printer/scanner combination, here's a list of parts :

  • Geo Metro front hubs
  • Geo Metro front drive shaft
  • 4" steel pipe
  • extruded aluminum
  • Sony Playstation 3 Move Eye (the camera for physical control)
  • Line Laser
  • CO2 laser

And, as always, funds will definitely help get this rolling again.