Last night we were in the shop (technically a shop, not our shop), to work on a new and improved rocket framework.
Here’s a quick video tour of the truck, which includes an overview of our new wave of modifications.
Stay tuned for more…
Last week we took the truck in to have the catalytic convertor replaced. It was in fact the orignal with over 237k miles on it. After that was replaced had a smog check which we passed. We were told by the mechanic that the replaced convertor is merely a band-aid to an undetermined underlying engine problem that should be looked into soon. It seems that the engine has trouble idling but once it gets up to speed it coudn’t run better. We’ll be looking into that over the next few weeks.
We placed our new door magnets which feature a more movie accurate design. You may notice that they are far too clean. That will be fixed by the weekend.
Whenever we talk to people about the truck they seem surprised that we are still working on minor details here and there. We are hoping to have the truck run the very it can as well as be as accurate as we can with our budget. Nothing beats seeing reactions while we drive around and we hope to get back on the road as soon as we can.
Over the past few week we have been having some engine trouble. A few smog checks later and we are still having some engine trouble. Before our road trip last year we took the truck in to have it tuned up. We asked the mechanic to replace anything that was in desperate need of attention.
Upon further inspection this time around we found that the engine is a bit of a hodge podge of jerry-rigged quick fixes as well as some very very well used parts. For instance our spark plugs showed over 100k miles of wear. Chris, our current mechanic on call, noticed that our catalytic convertor appears to be the original. Which means that this specific part has over 237k miles on it. We’ll need to do some further investigation to see if any other parts will need replacing soon.
Knowing these things now it’s shocking thinking back on how even though we knew the truck had quite a few miles on it, as it always seemed to run very well. It somehow managed to continue running even with all these old parts. From the looks of it we’ll need to slowly replace parts when we can. The cost of modifications will soon be dwarfed by the cost of repairs. Thankfully Toyotas seem to run forever.
Tomorrow we’ll be taking the truck in for a rough diagnosis and to replace the catalytic convertor.
We’ll be back on the road soon…
Our second batch of rocket foam reacted unexpectedly, shrinking to about 1/3 its original size.
A foam support structure has been fashioned. It allows for a more precise shape since we are no longer eyeballing its dimensions like we were during previous methods.
Over the next few days we’ll finish laying the mesh and being construction on the outer shell.
For the past week we have been working on shaping the new and improved rocket. Our goal for this version is that it matches the scale from the films. This poses a challenge for us since the new rocket body (without fins) is as large as our first rocket (fins and magnets included). In addition to having larger and stronger magnets we are brainstorming a secure but quick release bracket to hold the rocket to the cab in case we encounter high winds on the road. The quick release is in case we encounter any parking garages with low clearance or any other situations that would require the rocket to be removed at a moments notice.
Since the previous rocket foam formed with several tough spots that we couldn’t work past even with a high power sander, Will recently reformed a new foam core which has the optimum sandable texture we’ve been looking for.
A few days ago we took the truck out for a quick spin to Will’s house for a quick spot paint job.
It looks like Maaco missed a spot when the truck received its paint job. The truck was originally a nice shade of blue.
A quick spritz of spray paint will fix that.
Will and his dad tweak the mirrors that Kris and Christiana picked up from Pick Your Part last week. They were harvested from a earlier model of Toyota truck and after a bit of time in the vice they were secured to the doors.
We plan on having the rocket (as well as a few more modifications) finished very soon.